40 years ago, those who were friends with students of the sociology professor H. Garfinkel had to be prepared for surprises: his students would sometimes, without the least warning, behave very unusually. And so it was that one of his students, for example, involved her husband in the following dialogue while he sat watching TV in the evening, after he had casually remarked that he was tired:
“How d’you mean you’re tired? Physically, mentally, or are you merely bored?”
“I don’t know, I think mostly physically.”
“D’you mean your muscles and bones hurt?”
“I guess so, yes! Don’t be so pedantic!” After a brief pause, he commented:
“In all these old films, the people are always well-dressed even when they’re at home!”
“What are you saying? D’you mean all old films, or only some of them, or only those you’ve seen?”
“What’s the matter with you? You know exactly what I mean!”
How did the husband probably feel at the end of this dialogue?
Degree of difficulty: low
What can be seen from the above-mentioned experiment?
I. If people choose their words exactly this helps towards a clear understanding.
II. The husband believes he has expressed himself clearly.
Degree of difficulty: medium