What did you say?

Misunderstandings are a cornerstone of comedy. From Jack Tripper and his roomates to Abbot & Costello figuring out who is playing what position to Koothrappali and Wolowitz’s skills with the ladies there’s a great tradition of laughing at people who had small problems getting their message across to one another.

Of course in comedy, those misunderstandings are clever, the result of a combination of great writers and talented actors doing what they do best.  But unintentional communication failures can also be pretty funny. The other night a woman at an event asked where she could know me from and after some ‘maybe here’ and ‘maybe there’ we realized it was probably from seeing each other around Park Slope, Brooklyn.

It wasn’t until we continued the conversation with a gentleman later that I realized she had mis-heard one of my ‘maybe heres’. I said “maybe we met at BarCamp“, she heard “maybe we met at Bi-Camp”, hilarity ensued (at least the people around us were pretty amused).

I realized later my mistake was assuming everyone would know the phrase “BarCamp” because I do.

Unclear communication; awesome in sketch comedy, funny in conversation, potentially disastrous in designing brand communications.

Are you sure the message you’re about to approve is the right one for your audience? Are you assuming something you shouldn’t?


This is part of my morning warm up series, so I’d appreciate any feedback, thanks.

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