Thursday, February 16, 2012

Context Counts

Words have importance, but the context of where/how/when those words are said or written will affect how the words are understood. Thanks to a colleague who told me the following.

An immigrant to the US, originally from Europe, ran into his house highly agitated. He told his family that a terrible thing had taken place in Europe: the communists had invaded Italy and were murdering priests. The family gasped and asked how he knew this. He told them that he had seen it as the headline in a newspaper, in words two inches high.

So, what did this man read in the paper? "Reds Murder Cardinals." Yup, context counts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've read that when the National Weather Service chose names for tropical storms, the name "Israel" was considered but replaced with "Isadore". My guess is that they wanted to avoid headlines such as "Israel strikes Cuba, Florida next".