Friday, April 15, 2016

Context - Do people understand the message how you want it to be understood?

            Have you ever joined a conversation at an awkward moment? People interpret messages in different ways based on how they understand the words that are being used. Anything that is said or written can be taken out of context.  Context is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as 1) the words that are used with a certain word or phrase and that help to explain its meaning, or 2) the situation in which something happens: the group of conditions that exist where and when something happens. 
Right now of the little news that I look at, the majority of it is politics. It is important to be well informed on each candidate and what they plan to do if they are elected. For example one of Donald Trump’s statements pertains to building a wall on the United States-Mexico Border. This is a link to his site and his stand on the topic: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/immigration-reform. Skimming through this often times you just look for the headings, words that are bolded or italicized, and highlighted words. Mexico will pay for the wall. That is one of the first things that I noticed when I was perusing the site. When I was watching footage of one of Trump’s rallies I noticed people holding signs that had Mexico will pay written on them. What comes to my mind when I see signs is: 1) Why will Mexico be paying for the wall? 2) How are we going to make them pay for the wall? I want to know the context of Mexico will pay. Reading through the article I only didn’t really see anything on how we are going to make Mexico pay only reasons why they should. Another to think about is whether or not all the facts are true or are they only telling me this to gain my vote in the upcoming election.
            Studying has a different context when you are talking to a college student versus talking to a high school student. When I was in high school I could very simply look over my notes the day of the test during a study hall or right before we took the test. For homework I would usually finish them during a study hall. That was my definition of studying when I was in high school. That type of studying doesn’t work for many people in college. When I got to college I was told that you should study about three hours for every hour that you are in class. I have found that statement about studying to be fairly accurate the hard way. Being ill-prepared for an exam is never a good situation.