Monday, November 23, 2009

Lost in Translation

This past weekend, my husband and I went to the Coast without the kids. We met some friends of ours there. It was fantastic.

As I headed out of town, I realized that I had forgotten my hat. The NW Coast is cold and windy. I had to have a hat. I sent a text to my friend asking her if she could bring a hat for me. We texted each other back and forth but didn't realize we were miscommunicating.

Here's a rough idea of the texts.

Could you bring a toboggan because I forgot to get mine.
Toboggan??? Like, for the snow?
LOL!!! My ears get really cold when it is windy.

When we got together at our final destination, my friend asked me why I asked for a toboggan. She said she thought I wanted her to bring a sled.

I googled toboggan.

One of the definitions of toboggan:
In Southern American English, Appalachian English, toboggan refers to a type of hat. This is sometimes shortened to boggan.

Oh my, we laughed SO hard. In fact, I am still chuckling about it.

At the same time, I am reminded that my experiences color my world view. My past and my upbringing contribute to how I understand the world around me and maybe even how I respond to others.

Neither my friend nor I were wrong. We were just using two different definitions of the same word.

We had an entire conversation, albeit through text, thinking we were talking about the same thing when we weren't.

I am reminded that I do not always know how others think or feel. I want to be more aware and open to considering other people and what it's like to be in their shoes. I want to try to recognize that being from another part of town or another region of the country may affect communication or my ability to immediately relate. I want to be more aware of others and spend less time making assumptions that they understand where I am coming from.

I am going to wear my toboggan more often, as a simple reminder that, "Perspective is Reality" and I don't always know the perspective of the people around me.


Foursons said...

I thought a toboggan was a sled too. Kinda funny that you wanted a sled to keep your ears warm. hahahaha

Great lesson you took from that whole situation. Me? I would have thought- that is totally going on my blog and that's as deep as I would've gone. :)

Anonymous said...

Ironic, because the whole time I was looking at the pictures that Kim posted I was admiring your really cute hat/toboggan.

Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) said...

tee hee....I totally thougth sled too.....I am with Foursons up there....I don't know that I would have taken it much past a funny blog post - I do love the lesson that you got from that simple conversation. Thanks for Sharing!

MiMi said...

Yep, I was thinking sled too. :)

He & Me + 3 said...

When I think of toboggan...I think sled too. LOL Funny how some words are different things to different people. Cute hat BTW

Kimberly said...

Thanks ladies!!!! The hat was a gift from my hubby and girls a couple of years ago for Christmas! That "toboggan" gets around. I have pics of my daughter wearing it last weekend up in Seattle!!!!

Beth E. said...

This is a cute post. Isn't it funny how words have different meanings? Toboggan means hat around here.

I'm glad you had fun with your friends. It's always good to get away with your hubby. ;-)

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Oh, I have to admit that up here in the NORD (north) um we call them HATS so, I thought you meant a sled as well...but after the picture...I would LOVE a Toboggan!!! ;)

Amy Jo said...

Thank you for a good giggle. :) Of course, I thought sled too, as did Greg when I asked him. Ah well.

3LittleMonkeys said...

Yep, I was thinking sled too!

Up here in the Great White North we call that kind of hat a toque (sounds like, tuke)!

chad said...

Great blog, Toboggan in common form i thought was always a sled. I never knew it was a hat. Great story and those miscommunications happen when you text out of context. (get it)

Carrie said...

Oh that is too first thought was a sled too! Guess I didn't realize it was a hat too! Great comparison...funny how those things make little light bulbs go off sometimes! Love it!