Proof positive that I speak in a foreign language.
This is England. They speak English over here. It is the national language. I live in England. I grew up speaking English in another land. It’s my only language. I then spend over 30 years living in England speaking the English I knew from another land (that was an English colony), but learned some refinements.
So naturally I can assume that when I speak English, people in England should understand what I’m saying. Okay – so that’s the general position. I know that not ‘everybody‘ in England speaks English! Most people understand the English words I use. But a significant proportion seem not to understand the meanings I am hoping to transmit. Hold on – calm down – at times when I’m misunderstood, I was not using a vocabulary or sentence structure that is complex. Some fool wants some examples. I’m not giving every example over the years. In the week of 12th April, I had two classics – and today 24th April, another one.
It’s my record of ‘life’ – the life I live. Maybe long after I’m ‘gone’, someone will pick up on this ‘life’ I struggle with. [This does not mean I’m suicidal FFS!! 😤]
This one is a conversation by email.
CW: I request full details on what exactly is a [ABC] and any relevant procedural rules relevant to such examinations in general.
Rep1: Thank you for your email below, once the Person X contacts the [organisation] they can confirm who can attend the [ABC].
CW: I note that my request >> I request full details on what exactly is a [ABC] and any relevant procedural rules relevant to such examinations in general.
<< – has been ignored. It is not rude to suggest that you read emails properly and respond properly. [ ]
Rep1: Apologies if I missed your details in your email. The [ABC] is an ABC conducted by Person X. This is conducted independently and was requested on behalf of Mr B by the lawyer for this case. [ ]
CW: This is not an answer to my request. How can I write the [head of operations] seeking the information I require?
Cutting a long story short, I then get an email from a ‘head of operations’ giving some information on the rules. The email contained a trail between Rep1 and the head.
Again cutting a long story short, I ask for assessment of ‘capacity to manage financial affairs‘. What do I get back by email. The ‘capacity to request interim appointeeship.‘ But this one started off with a live face to face conversation in the same room. I even explained what the breadth and depth of ‘capacity to manage financial affairs‘ might involve. The individual said they understood. What I got back was sent by email.
Some fools don’t get it. It’s the difference between capacity to sell fruit and the capacity to sell bananas! And they still won’t get it. You do not need to be a ‘mental health professional’ to understand any of this. But.. but… people will still say ‘I’m not a mental health professional‘. In this example even when there is a live conversation in the same room and I’m told that I’m understood, obviously I am not!
This one is brief, about someone about to enter discussions for a project spanning two years.
Person X: …next 2 hours discussing year long project for final module of XXX! 2 years early to prepare.
CW: ..have some ideas what you might do for the project?
Person X: I never plan … Waiting to finish this tutorial to decide.
CW: I wondered about ‘ideas’ not ‘plans’.
Person X: I did not plan ideas
And from this sort of thing one can end up in an endless debate about the difference between ‘ideas’ and ‘plans’. Some believe that ideas are plans. I’d have no doubt that ‘plans’ involve a group of ideas usually sequenced for some intended outcome. I think that an idea is not a plan – and I don’t care if Professor BigBod says differently. I might have an idea that ‘I want to stab you in the neck!‘ That doesn’t mean I have a plan to stab you in the neck! Got it? Obviously not! The words ‘might do’ is obviously not an inquiry about a plan – instead an inquiry about rough ideas. But I’ll be told ‘not necessarily’ or ‘it depends’. I know the spiel.
What does it mean
I am so uninterested in what all this means to anybody else. ‘Anybody else’ was not there! ‘Anybody’ does not know the context. I alone know. Words on a page are quite often devoid of context. I’m not at liberty to paint full context here in any of the examples. Somebody is likely to go ‘To be fair, maybe English wasn’t their first language!‘ Oh – I so know that one. People actually jump to the rescue of fools with all sorts of possible explanations. As I said, ‘you weren’t there!’ I was there. I know that the first language of these people is English. Then to rescue fools, people go, “Well maybe they had a learning disability… No need to be so harsh!” Oh – so that means I’m supposed to ask people before any conversation, “Are you suffering with a learning disability today?” What a loadah utter horse manure that would be!
But even without context this is about words. It requires no ‘high level’ understanding at all.
If I use words of ordinary English in emails or in live conversation and people do not understand, the first thing I need to consider is whether I’m speaking a language ‘they don’t understand’. I have always assumed that living in England, I am of right to assume that other persons who purport to speak English might actually understand English! But no the examples above (and I have more that are very similar), means that I cannot make that assumption.
From here on I will assume that anything I say in English will not be understood by other persons I assume to be speaking English.
I’m not going to be asking “Do you speak English?” or “Is English your first language?” – else I might be accused of condescending behaviour, racism or bullying.
Disclaimer & Guidance