In the midst of an argument with a friend on politics, religion, and philosophy, he stopped me cold because I had used the term "liberal."
"Liberal?" he said, "What do you mean by 'liberal?'"
that point I quickly concluded that my friend had either, a).
truthfully claimed that he had no idea as to the meaning of the word, or
b). he wanted to make sure I was using the word in a manner was that
consistent with his definition.
Being convinced that the latter
explanation was the most plausible, it occurred to me once again that
the importance of understanding and being understood in communication is
of utmost importance. Words do not always mean what we think they mean...
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