Do you get me meaning?

And one of my goals as the communicator is to make it as easy as possible for you to get the meaning I’m intending to convey.

~ Shane Parrish from,

The article also has a tidy explanation of irony. Irony (humor, sarcasm and many other linguistic forms) work so well because they are very powerful. A few words said and heard in person can transfer large ideas. The article goes all the way to mentioning our “power to attribute mental states to others.” A subtle and, frankly, amazing power of projection. My mental state, plus your mental state, plus my saying some words, should have gotten you to this other mental state. Heady stuff.

If I wrote, “That was fun.” you’re pretty sure those three words were only part of what the speaker was trying to convey. By default, we have to go with the literal interpretation, but feel we’ve been gypped. We feel the urge to skip back a few lines looking for hints to reveal the rest of the meaning meant to be conveyed. We are accustomed to having to write much more to get the same job done. I have to write: Then, with a wry smile, “That was fun.”

Which is all very interesting. But today, the question I have is: Wait. How did I ever get good at this insanely complex process without ever having anyone explicitly tell me anything about it?