Unique individuals

OK, so I told someone that someone else was a unique individual. That kind of drove me nuts for about 7 seconds as one could not be unique and not be an individual nor could someone be an individual and not unique. Modifying the word "individual" with "unique" is not an effective use of words. But that's all right, for the most part, as he understood what I meant. And that is communication - precision sometimes gets in the way.

I recently violated this credo when I wrote a comment that used the technical terms "white list" and "black list" to communicate what kind of Internet filtering strategy I was going to employ when my children become more enamored with what is on line. Of course these terms needed clarification and if I clarified them at that point I would have been a more effective communicator. I didn't and I wasn't. Thank God for lessons learned.

There was a time when I used to write to try impress people. Some of those tendencies bleed through today, but I really try to make sure that I am well-understood rather than crank through the thesaurus for a synonym of "fun." No one is impressed with what they can't understand. That just leads to frustration for the reader and accomplishes absolutely nothing. Sometimes I do fall in love with the words I write though...why not, rather, fall in love with the people that read what I write? That seems to be a much more worthy pursuit and better use of my time.

Ramble, ramble, ramble...hopefully this has been something more than nonsensical.


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