To understand and be understood
To comprehend and be comprehensible
I tried to speak clearly when young and my mother would say ‘Stop shouting!’
Outside of my home I would try to speak out of my grave shyness. People would say ‘Speak up. Your mumbling.’ I have acquired over the years, so listeners have advised me, a volume in my speaking voice that rises and falls, peaks and dips at unexpected moments but sounds perfectly level to me in my head. It is perfectly level to my hearing.
Over the years I have made a conscious effort towards clarity in my speech and writing. Scared of being misunderstood I went into myself through books, hoping my absorption in them would give me greater clarity when talking/writing to/with other people.
I have performed my writing on stage, on radio and was a creative writing teacher of adults for eight years. The last eleven years I have worked in a call centre on the phones where clear communication, correct pronunciation, and plain explanation is vital. Over the years I have acquired a mild form of OCD that expresses itself in a need that things make sense, clear order, instruction and process.
I hope you may empathise with this situation, and that this article can be clearly understood. When I request comments about my work, it is not out of egotism, a need for confirmation. I am asking ‘Am I comprehensible?’