Tart or Quiche...
My daughter and her fiancé are visiting, we haven’t seen her properly for over a year. I’m going to cook something for lunch, I start discussing options with my wife (she’s American).
She asks me why I bought more eggs when we will get a delivery the next day.
“I’m thinking about making a tart, you need eggs for a tart.”
She looks at me as though I’m mad. – “You mean quiche, right? Quiche has eggs, tart doesn’t.”
Eh? – “not in my head” I say.
“Well, your head is wrong.” She gently informs me.
It is a great example of the appropriation of words and the use of labels to describe something that has a collection of properties. Properties that, in my head, were quite different from my wife’s.
This happens a lot more than you probably notice and I’m not talking about eggs in tarts. We learn to associate words with ‘things’ as we experience life. Most of us don’t sit are read dictionaries to discover and attribute meanings precisely.
Things take on meaning as we live our life, as we hear words being said from others and pair them with our own meaning based on what we experience.
If we are mixing with people from a similar culture, business, discipline etc, we get away, most of the time, with speaking in labels.
But if you look closely, you can start to see that some of the differences in behaviour might be because of our differences in our maps of meaning rather than a lack of ability or motivation.
Tart’s by the way, have eggs in them, sometimes!