The other day I received a text.

what the hay? to which I replied:

hay is for horses the reply I got was:

and bunnies.”

What was accomplished with the above text conversation? Nothing? Anything? I think the first text was meant to establish a connection after not speaking for quite some time. While the above may work for some people, it doesn’t work for me. If you’re planning on re-establishing some dialog with me, than something better than “what the hay” is something worth considering.

The above text makes me the person – that is now given the task of a meaningful interaction. I become the one to reestablish communication. The person sending the somewhat innocent text “what the hay?”, has transferred the bulk of the work over to the person receiving the text. Doesn’t quite seem like a genuine way to get the ball rolling again.

Perhaps something more along the lines of “What is going on with you? I know it’s been awhile but I was thinking about you and the last time we talked we were left hanging like a dangling participle.”

That I can respond to. Heck, sometimes dangling participles can be a hoot! Example:

Driving like a maniac, the fish was hit and killed.

This makes it seem like the fish was driving. Fixed it would read thus:

Driving like a maniac, Edgar hit and killed a fish

While no animals were harmed during the above theoretical examples, there is a very real possibility that both parties could be misunderstood. Communication becomes less than satisfactory, and ideas, along with thoughts can become mangled, sometimes beyond recognition. And for the record, Edgar and I are no longer friends since hitting the fish. Heck, I brake for fish and crustaceans!

The many ways in which a conversation can be misinterpreted are endless. Taking time to reach out, with a willingness to explain what you are saying, texting or even emailing someone, can be the difference between a connecting relationship or one that flounders, killed dead, like the fish above.

Moral of the story? It’s tough being a fish on a highway.