Communication is one of the most complex act in the world, not in performing, but in understanding.
Two people need a common set of reference and a clear context so communication is successful. Obviously, communication fails if one of the two people attempting it does not grasp what they are talking about. It looks rather silly when presented in such a gruff way, but miscommunication happens all the time over subtle details.
I witnessed such occurrence twice in less than twelve hours: the first time in my own home and the second time, at the drugstore.
What to do about misinterpretation?
- Be precise. The more precise you are, the higher the odds of avoiding misinterpretation.
- Give a frame of reference, a time reference when confusion about the time line is possible.
- Double-check with the interlocutor if you are unsure.