Defining Words - Radiant

The Radiant Blog

Defining Words

Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg

I'm pretty pleased about the fact that we didn't have a post up earlier today.

Why? Well, because I just saw a post come across my Facebook feed from one of my clients and it is perfect fodder for the blog. Here's the post:

We're drawing closer to deciding on the new logo for Camino Global! When we spoke with the guy at the Dallas County Clerk's office, he offered us an application form to register our logo mark and brand identity. When the form came, it asked us if the brand was for cattle, sheep, horse, swine or goat, and whether it would go on the right ear or the left. Only in Texas...

Now, I could comment on this post a few different ways...

I could leave it for what it is because their post alone is pretty funny.

I could comment on how our kind of branding has a component of being "marked" in a visual way, but includes so much more.

But at the suggestion of a commenter on that post, I'm going to make a few comments about words and the fact that they can mean different things to different people.

Funny though the above post is, it highlights the critically important point that although we often take it for granted, communicating isn't easy. Words need context and if we want to understand others when they say something, we cannot simply impose/presume our understanding on those words - even if it feels like your understanding is the "right" one.

Strong communicators listen to what the other person is saying, identify the potential pitfalls and then address those to ensure they comprehend and can respond helpfully.

That's not the default setting for a lot of us - perhaps all of us - evidently, the Dallas County Clerk's office is no exception.