Exactly What I Mean: A Mercury Rx Musing

Today I sent someone a humorous e-mail about blogging. Then I realized the person I sent it to was a blogger and I called to apologize and assure them the joke wasn’t a dig at their blog. When mercury is in retrograde you can’t be too careful.

Also today, I had one of those weird e-mail exchanges with someone where you’re not entirely certain if they understood what you thought you rather clearly said. You say something like “I’ll have that to you on Thursday” and the response you receive is “Oh, yeah. Sure. Of course. Say no more. *nudge nudge wink wink* Knowhattamean?”

You look at this response and you’re not certain what to make of it. Has Thursday suddenly become some secret code for something naughty? Are they under some impression that some sort of hijinks is taking place on Wednesday, forcing you to delay delivery until Thursday? Or do they think the whole promise of delivery is some clever cover for your real intention of going on safari in Africa?

Or maybe you’re over-thinking it. Maybe they are just saying they are totally ok with receiving it on Thursday, acknowledging that everyone is busy and they had no expectation of receiving it any sooner.

Maybe you should clarify with them? Make sure they really understood that all you meant was that you’d have it to them on Thurs? No alternate meaning? No subterfuge?

Or would that mire things up more? Should you just ignore the strange reply and trust that you were clear to begin with? Do you just let that niggling worry niggle away and move on?

This is why I hate mercury retrograde. I’m normally pretty clear in what I say and don’t worry too much about clear communication, but in mercury rx I’m a Doubting Thomas. Has anything really changed? Have the planets and stars aligned to confound and confuse? Or am I just worrying too much?

Or maybe we’ve become a society that no longer says precisely what we mean? And if so, what does that say about us?

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