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With computer keyboard and the possiblity of typos, do you always write what you thought you wrote?

Does the reader understand what you wrote in the way you intended them to?

There are plenty of opportunities for us to be excellent communicators, or poor communicators, as writers. And isn't the art of good writing to be a great communicator, to influence others, to educate, inspireor entertain them?

Well, it is even more difficult if you are not working in your native tongue! In Turkey I have been known to order a fresh man, instead of fresh bread, since the word for man (erkek) is very close to the one for bread (ekmek). One of my customers in the bookstore proudly told me she had eaten children for lunch (instead of cucumber and yogurt dip)!

Every day in a foreign language I have to choose my words carefully, so that they aren't misunderstood. It is a bit like writing a book ... except for the fact that in live speech you don't really have the opportunity to press the delete button and correct what you meant to say!

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Comment by Charlotte McPherson on August 30, 2007 at 7:58am
Who has the accent??? I remember when my brother went into a MacDonalds in Chicago just to order a coke and hamburger and they had to asked him to repeat it a couple of times...really it could not be that different from how it is said up North. Often people just like to hear us speak and want us to repeat. This happen to Marion when she visited the U.S. in June. My friends kept asking her more and more questions because they just liked hearing her English accent. It was quaint.
Comment by Georgia Richardson on August 30, 2007 at 7:01am
Living in Turkey is a lot like being from the South and traveling North of the Mason/Dixon line. People are constantly asking me, "Ah, what did you say? I didn't understand your accent." I'm thinking, "I have an accent?"

I was doing a radio interview one time with two lovely ladies from the North. I finally told them that if they promised to talk slower, I promised to talk faster. Holy Moly!

I also had to tell them that when I say I need to get on with my "rat killing," its just a figure of speech. I don't REALLY have rats, I just had business I needed to attend to. So when I write, I have to be mindful that not everyone speaks "Southern." Then again, that's part of the fun when you're a humorist, eh?
Comment by Marion James on August 13, 2007 at 2:48am
I once said that I was homeless, when I meant to say I was single, 'cos I got the grammar mixed up! Anyway, better than a friend of mine who, when in Uzbekistan, went into the pastry shop and apparently asked for them to give her a c-section!
Comment by Bea Vanni on August 13, 2007 at 1:27am
You write some nice stories trying to get your point across. I can laugh at this one because I get so many words mixed up because the Turkish language will have only one letter to differentiate from another and making what you say completely wrong.

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