Decisions are based on a fundamental understanding of options. These options are often presented through language. Our language has mirrored our intellectual expansion during the past twenty years (since the commercialization of the internet), but it’s also exponentially increased the likelihood of poor decisions versus good decisions. And not for the reason you’re probably thinking about right now.
It’s not that our decision-making ability has declined, it’s that our American English lexicon has been stripped of standards and replaced by Idiolects which are varieties of a specific language unique to an individual. In other words, how an individual (all individuals) use parts of speech specific to the language they’re speaking. Huh? Are you suggesting that we’re using vocabulary generally accepted but individually defined?
Yes, for example: I’ve had a great evening; would you like to come up for a night cap? Twenty years ago you had a pretty good idea that the night cap meant some form of refreshment and m-a-y-b-e. . .But today a night cap most likely is prone to interpretation, and depending on the interpreter, the night cap might be the evening’s last tango which spins and dips and clutches its way to dawn, or the night cap might be the gut-wrenching sound of starboard iron scraping along larboard iron in a dense fog on a moonless night in the frigid north sea. Both invitations were accepted but only one, the former, seemed to coalesce. The latter was respectfully disharmonious and most likely eliminated any tandem future. Okay, so what? What’s this got to do with me?
We’re all assuming that what we say and what they hear are synonymous. But in this day and age of individuality, identity, and me-me-meism which is reinforced constantly through internet-based social networks and the hardboiled, pragmatic, and mundane personal updates which someone somewhere will proclaim as unique (dismissing our language’s standard usages) and applaud their meism misuse (interpretation) of vocabulary, and whammo! A word or phrase which held a generalized meaning now has a bastard son. This phenomenon is known as Language Evolution Based on the Idiolectic Intersection of Individual Adoption.
So what’ve you been blathering on about?
Simply put: What you know you’re saying (standardized use) is being heard as something different (Idiolectic use). Perhaps if communication was bipartisan (the talkers and listeners understand that their communication is reshaping the English lexicon) then we might lessen misunderstandings and agree to use a mutually standardized language in order to foster a sense of unity.