Saying What You Mean

A Doctor’s Waiting Room rarely offers a wide choice of reading material and recently I found myself obliged to read an ageing copy of Country Life (there is nothing wrong with the publication but it would not feature as a primary choice).  As with most publications I found myself drawn to the Letters Page since they frequently offer more meaningful content than the professional journalistic input.  And so it was that I found myself looking at a photograph of an elegant early generation Letter Box located somewhere in Australia and was dumbstruck to read that it attracted the nomenclature of Post Office Receiving Pillar.  Well why use two words to describe something when four will do!

This event reminded me of the frequent disparity of interpretation of simple words or phrases; in effect saying what we mean.  Consider such examples as:

Saying Real Meaning
Intestinal fortitude Guts
Reorganisation I’m going to make a name for myself
Tactically unsound Too complicated for me


Many years ago, such considerations prompted an article that suggests  honesty and clarity are not always present: What Do You Mean?

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