Friday, April 15, 2011

මරන්න එපා නිදහස් කරන්න

I recall, it was one of the classes, and my teacher was narrating a story from the history of Sri Lanka. A prince has been arrested and kept in prison, for a while. Now, an order goes to the jailers, "මරන්න එපා  නිදහස් කරන්න" (Translation: Kill not release). He is supposed to be released, according to the real order (මරන්න එපා.  නිදහස් කරන්න; Kill Not. Release). But the jailers get it wrong as මරන්න. එපා  නිදහස් කරන්න (Kill. Not  Release). So finally he ends up his life sadly. 
With time, I have actually forgotten the real context and the exact figures involved in this historical story. But I got the message clearly. 
"Please be clear in what you are saying. Miscommunication costs lives!"

In a direct face-to-face communication, it is said that only upto 7% of the communication is contributed by words (verbal communication). The remaining is expressed through the tone and body language. When it comes to the online communication media or even a text message (SMS), we have to make sure to use that 7% effectively to contribute to the entire message, since the other two factors are not present. I often prefer lengthy mail over the short messages to avoid the "මරන්න එපා  නිදහස් කරන්න" scenarios due to the miscommunication. Sarcasm, pun, or jokes rarely interpreted correctly over the media except face-to-face.

Over technical ircs, we always ask the newbies to type in full, instead of using an sms language (I srsly hate ppl typng lk ths ovr ircs. I mean t). However we should accept the fact that the smileys support a lot over these communication media for an effective communication.
0) yes, I will give a try. 
1) yes, I will give a try. :) 
2) yes, I will give a try. ;)
3) yes, I will give a try. :(
4) yes, I will give a try. :P
5) yes, I will give a try. :S

You can get different meanings by going through the same sentence given above (0 - 5). I get the below meanings, actually. (Sentence 0 doesn't need further explanation - It is the sentence, without any smileys. It says itself).
1) yes, I will give a try. :) [I will happily give a try.]
2) yes, I will give a try. ;) [It will be fun to give a try. So I may.]
3) yes, I will give a try. :( [You ask me to give a try. So I will, though I am not competent enough]
4) yes, I will give a try. :P [I may give a try; most probably I won't.]
5) yes, I will give a try. :S [I am worried, whether I should really give a try.]

When interacting online, we always prefer to use the Internet slang and the smileys. They make the conversation more animated and interesting. An alphabetical list of the most commonly used internet slang can be found here along with their meaning. This site lists the smileys with their meaning. In a formal communication, we should always avoid the usage of smileys or the other languages except English (unless in a specified localized group) nevertheless. Saying everything directly in simple words would be better, to avoid miscommunication, as well as to suit the culture of the work environment.

Recently I lost the friendship (temporarily - I am pretty sure. I am capable enough to rectify this in the upcoming days myself, and we will be back to normal as good friends.) of one of my good friends due to some misinterpretation. It hurts nevertheless to hurt a good friend. So again it calls for this blogpost.

"I heard someone badmouthing you recently", I was told on a related context.
"Nevermind, that simply means, I am more important and influential to them than their own self. Just let them entertain you," I smiled.

Though badmouthers are annoying and irritating, there is nothing to worry about them. They do exist and let them exist (like all the other *things* in the environment). Fighting with them just reduces our effectiveness. We have the freedom to choose our response in an effective manner, after all!


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