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Poor discrimination of words can change the meaning of conversations

Creative Listening

I lost my teeth the other night when I went outside to look at a bright dollar. I hook my ankle tripping over zorro dog laying in the yard. The zone dog of yours adapt barks at everything.

The words in bold were actual responses to a discrimination test.

A discrimination test is given during your hearing evaluation. It is a list of at least 50 words, said at a loudness you find to be the most comfortable to determine how well you currently understand words.

The results of this assessment can be a bit misleading to many people. The words are spoken in a pristine environment. There are no distractions, no other sounds, nothing else trying to get your attention. Just a list of words, without emotions, without context, delivered at a comfortable level. In theory, this is an ideal listening situation.

In normal conversations, words are spoken in a variety of tones.

Words, such as love, are affected more by the emotional context than the sounds of their letters. When the word ‘love’ spoken between two people is romantic in nature, the second half of the word has more energy and lands in a lower frequency. When two friends being chipper and laughing say ‘Love You’, the word ends in the upper frequencies.

How I listen is within the context and emotion of the situation. Karen will often call, “Blair” and as you know the emotion, loudness and emphasis matters. If she calls gently I can pretend not to notice right away. If she drags out my name, I need to respond sooner. If the volume is capable of reaching Iowa, I am on the move.

Misunderstanding just a few words in a paragraph alters the meaning. Misunderstandings in a conversation can hurt feelings and cause discord in a relationship.

The random first paragraph is a creative exercise in how people miss understand what is spoken. I used misunderstood words from a discrimination evaluation and created a story. Here is the same paragraph using the correct words. I lost my key the other night when I went outside to look at a bright star. I hurt my ankle tripping over your dog laying in the yard. The young dog of yours that barks at everything.

If you recently misunderstood words in a conversations while out socializing, please call us for your hearing test, 244-9300.

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