The Pragmatic Family of
Frameworks are written in English and you would therefore expect to be able to
understand every word.
However, although most of us speak English fluently, the
same cannot be said about the language we use to talk, about things in relation
Different people use different words to mean different
things at different times. This is a massive problem, which makes understanding
anything anyone says, at best impossible, and at worst, apparently possible. (It’s
worse when apparently possible, because that’s when people think they
understand each other, but don’t)
People, including me, get attached to the meaning of the
words we use, and defend those meanings passionately. This is totally
understandable, because the meanings we attach to words, are the absolute basis
for our understanding things.
Pragmatic has no desire or
wish to impose our meaning of words onto you, however, for the purposes of
understanding the Pragmatic Family of
Frameworks, I would ask you to temporarily put aside your current meanings of
words, and try to embrace, accept and understand the meanings of the words used
here. The actual words are not so important as the meaning behind them.
Many words people use are overloaded with multiple meanings,
and when this is not clear (i.e. a lot of the time!) communication can become
quite confusing, not to say heated.
Sometimes we need to use different language to explain a
difficult concept. For example, let’s look at an explanation of the offside rule
in football (or soccer to those of you from across the pond – see, there’s that
language problem again!) to someone who knows nothing about the rules of
football, but knows everything about the rules of buying shoes…
“You're in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the
till. Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes which you have
seen and which you must have.
The shopper in front of you has seen them also and
is eyeing them with desire. But, both of you have forgotten your wallets.
It would (of course) be rude to push in front of
the shopper in front of you, if you had no money to pay for the shoes.
(The shop assistant remains at the till waiting.)
Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at
the back of the shop and sees your dilemma.
They prepare to throw their wallet to you.
If they do, you can catch the wallet, then walk
round the other shopper and buy the shoes!
At a pinch your friend could throw the wallet ahead
of the other shopper, and "whilst it is in flight" you could nip
around the other shopper, catch the wallet, and buy the shoes!
BUT, you must always remember that until the wallet
has "actually been thrown", it would be just plain wrong for you to move
in front of the other shopper and buy the shoes.
So, if English can be confusing to people who speak it
natively, imagine the problems in the multinational world we live in, as we can
see in this explanation of Cricket (in a world without boundaries - pun
“You have two sides, one out in the field and one
Each person that's in the side that's in goes out,
and when he's out he comes in and the next person goes in until he's out.
When they are all out, the side that's out comes in
and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.
Sometimes you get people still in and not out.
When a person goes out to go in, the people who are
out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next person in
goes out and goes in.
There are two people called umpires who stay out
all the time and they decide when the people who are in are out.
When both sides have been in and all the people have
been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the people have been in,
including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.”