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Post Reply Lost in Translation: Comical Misunderstandings in Textual Conversation
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Posted 5/31/15
I've been thinking of starting up an apolitical thread to help things along here in General, and I think I've got it: the impact of the limitations of internet communication for comedy. The fact is that text doesn't easily convey tone, so ordinary conversation can face challenges when conveyed through text. This problem is even more pronounced during construction of sarcasm or satire.

The purpose of this thread is a simple one: share your amusing misunderstandings here. It doesn't matter if they're misunderstandings which have arisen as a result of telephone autocorrect programs, forum posts, or anything else, as long as it's a misunderstanding brought about by text's limitations for conveying tone.
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34 / M / Mexico
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Posted 5/31/15
Well, there was one time a few years back when a girl on the Wii U was asking about when F-Zero was coming out, and I said "I doubt it's coming out anytime soon, considering Mario Kart hasn't been out yet", and another guy said "Oh, it's coming out in about a month". I thought it was ridiculous, a new version of F-Zero for the Wii U? And I said "what's your source?" and he said "Um, IGN".

I looked it up, and I said "no, but this is for the Virtual Console SNES version, she's asking about a new Wii U version". And then she said "no, I'm asking if there was going to be a N64 VC version".

I think, despite the lack of clarity in her initial question, this could have been avoided if we saw each other's faces,and by the expresions, we could have deducted that we were talking about completely different games.

We had a good laugh about the whole silly misunderstanding, and I added them to my friend list.
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27 / M / TX
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Posted 5/31/15
Don't know if this counts but here goes

I guess the funniest misunderstanding I had was when I decided to learn texting. I'm old school besides using my phone for reading "fictionpress.com" I just use it to make phone calls never texting. Well I was still new to texting and auto correct mess up my messages so many times i'm still kicking myself for taking so long to read my reply's before sending them. My friend was at the movies with his girlfriend and he was sending me messages. Guess it was a boring movie Transformers "never seen them myself so I have no opinion on the subject". I remember asking him (what are you watching) but the auto correct on my phone fixed it to (what are you wearing). X_X I really needed to reread my message before I sent them. "I do now"
Anyway he sent back (why?) and me not understanding replied back ( Because i'm interested "I was still experimenting with emoticons") Needless to say it was awkward for a while
My friend knew I was still learning messaging but his girlfriend gave me the eye for a while.
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34 / M / Mexico
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Posted 5/31/15


Haha! That's a pretty good story!

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27 / M / TX
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Posted 5/31/15

shinblade wrote:



Haha! That's a pretty good story!



All true his girlfriend really thought I was trying to make a move on him and it didn't help that we both worked for the same company. It didn't matter how many times I told her it was a mistake and she didn't believe him when he told her I was learning how to text. oh well it's a story I like to bring up just to get her mad nowadays
Posted 6/1/15 , edited 6/1/15
Exclamation marks make me appear sociable. In actuality, the feeling I'm trying to deliver is an inexperienced exclamation mark by me who's trying to fit in by pretending to be sociable. A bit like that shy kid forcing a laugh in a conversation he's barely a part of. Woopsie daisies!
Posted 6/1/15 , edited 6/1/15
I've had entire relationships fall apart because of this x-x
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Posted 6/1/15
Nothing beats a good conversational misstep (okay, maybe cookies and a few other things but that's beside the point).
The best I've ever experienced was when my Dad had to run after a bobcat near our chicken pen. To set up the backstory, we had just had a "towel snapping tournament", and for some reason I had Weird Al'song "fat" playing in the background.
Well Dad, without a shirt on, was coming back to the house while Mom was slightly irked that "fat" was now stuck in her head. When Dad came in the gate, she went to tell him that we could see the welt on his chest from about 4 meters away, but instead she yelled: "I can see your fat!" on accident.
Sometimes I praise God that we don't have neighbors.
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Posted 6/1/15
Oops, sorry. I DIDNT SEE THE "TEXTUAL CONVERSATIONS" PART.
I'm a "Baka." I know I know, sorry sorry.
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Posted 6/1/15

Dawsbfiremind wrote:

Oops, sorry. I DIDNT SEE THE "TEXTUAL CONVERSATIONS" PART.
I'm a "Baka." I know I know, sorry sorry.


We can expand the subject to include direct conversational missteps as well. I see no reason why not. The point of the thread is really that communication can misfire with amusing consequences.
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Posted 6/1/15
I had an interesting one once with a Canadian. Basically, I wrote a fanfic and asked him to read it and check if it was okay and if all the grammar was alright. A conversation along these lines happened.

Canadian: "Everything's perfect. Except you forgot to put a period at the end of the last sentence."

Me: "It's just set in modern day, it doesn't really have a period."

Canadian: "I know. But there's a period missing at the end of that sentence."

Me: "It's in modern day. That's it."

Canadian: "no, not the time it's set in! You need a period at the end of that sentence!"

Me: "what are you on about?! I've specified in the description it's set in modern day!"

It turns out that Americans and Canadians call full stops "periods". This was news to me. Over here, a period either means a period of time, a period of history, or a woman's menstrual cycle.
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Posted 6/2/15
Just remembered another one that happened to me. I live in the north of England but I'm not originally from here. I'm from the south. I went into a northern fish and chip shop and ordered something. The woman asked me "Do you want scraps?" I said something along the lines of "No! I certainly do not! What a disgusting thing to ask me!"

Apparently, in the north, "do you want scraps?" just means do you want bits of crispy batter with it. I genuinely thought she was asking me if I wanted the leftovers and someone else who'd ordered the same thing and hadn't eaten it all.
Sogno- 
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Posted 6/2/15
man autocorrect messes everything up regardless of translations lolol
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18 / M / Out of sight (But...
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Posted 6/5/15
Pfft, text conveys tone as well as the person writing the text can convey tone through means of text! Have you never read a good book?
Posted 6/5/15
I sound rude, mean, sometimes apathetic, when writing in text. So I try to use emoticons. I think it really helps. But when it comes to sarcasm & satire, it can be hard. People can easily take it the wrong way.
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