Let’s start this blog with a short anecdote about why context is critical in communication.
I live in Spain and am embarrassed to admit that I speak only basic Spanish. I also enjoy attending spin classes at my local health club. For the longest time, I thought it strange that the trainer would call out SOS each time he upped the intensity.
As you may already know; SOS is the International Morse code distress signal. The trainer is a little eccentric, and I assumed he was encouraging us to push harder. You know, stress out the cardiovascular system, gasp for air, be distressed.
In a recent conversation with some Spanish speaking friends, I mentioned this, and they all burst out laughing. Turns out that he was saying “Esto es” which is the shortened version of a Spanish idiom meaning “this is the life”.
Now I chuckle whenever anyone says SOS.