Why do readers interpret what writers write?

Status
Not open for further replies.

pljames

Junior Member
Joined
May 27, 2011
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I have the hardest time trying to being understood. I have a reading disibility. I scan what is read and do not critically think about what the reader understands. The reader thinks and interprets what they think the word means to them and not what I meant it to be. I meant it to be what the dictionary says it is defined as. I haven't a clue on how to make the reader understand what I thought the word meant.
This annoys me because the reader went to grammar school high school and college and had English as I did. Why do they interpret each word and not take the word for it's dictionary meaning alone? Is there a perfect way to write? Paul
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Can you give us an example where you have used a word, intending it to be understood as its dictionary definition, but the reader has taken it to mean something completely different? I'm having a hard time imagining a situation where that could happen unless the word has multiple definitions and the reader simply thinks of the wrong one. Basically, however, you can't force your readers to understand exactly what you meant.
 
Last edited:

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Readers are free to interpret things the way they want and not the way the writer necessarily intended. Even the dictionary definition can break down when words have multiple definitions, and then add layers like irony to that and you have the potential for many different interpretations.
 

BobK

Harmless drudge
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
:up: A reader can't not interpret. That's how communication works. ;-)

b
 

pljames

Junior Member
Joined
May 27, 2011
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
I am beginning to understand, I go overboard in wanting to be understood. I do not want to use ambiguous words for any reason, because they have more than one meaning. Could I use a point as a word, then after the comma explain it? I use the subject as the whole piece. The word tone bewillereds me, but it would seem when speaking one can write the same way. I have a lot to learn about structure. In trying to find my voice I again have gone overboard, in which apologize. Thank you all for your patience. Paul
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be understood. Indeed, writing using comprehensible language is very important. However, you can be both understood and interpreted at the same time. It is your job to make your writing understandable. It is the reader's task to read, understand and interpret.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top