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Lost in Translation

3dglassesIn this age of electronic communication, so often emails and texts written with the intention of sarcasm, innuendo or just plain wit get lost in translation.

Happens all the time

You meet someone online, start chatting via email, maybe even get to exchanging digits and entering the wonderful world of texting. Then


Suddenly one word, one sentence, one phrase gets misconstrued, misunderstood and misappropriated and it’s over just as quickly as it began. Things could have been progressing very nicely.  You saw real potential, had high hopes for this one. They were funny, witty, liked the same music as you, seemed to have a healthy relationship with their mom, they even had good spelling and grammar.

Then at some point you are in a situation where your attention may be distracted, your patience is impaired, or you’re a little more snarky than usual. Their frame of mind and lack of self confidence, combined with limited knowledge of your personality make for a perfect storm of insecurely written responses. They might enter into a long diatribe of why you should realize that

you are wrong, they are right, and oh by the way, you suck.

Why, even some guy named Evans did a study in 2009 revealing that approximately 48% of online daters reported that their breakups occurred via email. I bet the other 52% did it via text. I mean, if the relationship began electronically, might as well end in the same venue. I just wonder how many of those break-ups occurred because words and meanings were simply

lost in translation

Just think about it. If you are FACE TO FACE with a person and you say something simple like “what are you wearing?” your answer is going to be pretty straightforward. It’s either “the dress is Michael Kors and the jewelry is Tiffany” or “I’m wearing my pajamas because I just woke up” or “I’m wearing my lucky jeans because the Cowboys are playing tonight and we need all the help we can get”.

Texting wall
But if someone sends you a TEXT saying “what are you wearing?”, the meaning changes entirely. Your mind immediately goes to a creepy voice on the other end of the phone attached to a body which is likely not clothed and covered in some sort of lube. Am I right or am I right?


If you don’t know this person and their personality and usual mode of communication, your interpretation is going to resort to the default library of images, movie clips, TV shows, past relationships, your high school gym teacher. Who knows! The point is, you don’t know them well enough to assume correctly their intention, so you fill in your own blank. Sometimes that can backfire.

Once someone responds with a quick “well screw you and the horse your rode in on!” then you’re like “DONE!” and it’s back to the drawing board. No point in trying to make amends with this person who rushes to rash and overly reactionary responses. Clearly this is not someone you want to interact with your children, or your dog for that matter! Moving on…

About the Author:  Nanci is a resident Wingwoman here at Profile Wingman, where we help people write their online dating profiles.  Our #1 goal always is honesty. Watch our video, learn more about us, check out our services, and come back often for interesting blog posts.  You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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