When you last had a misunderstanding with someone — who did you blame? That depends, probably. When you were the sender (of a message of any kind, delivered in spoken or written form), chances are that you were blamed. Although there are at least two parties to every communication effort — one sender and one receiver — we seem to attribute failure to communicate almost always to the sender. But consider this:
I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. Alan Greenspan
Sometimes, the receiver denies the sender’s reality. It pains me that readers and listeners don’t take the same care in understanding the words as I take in crafting them. Whenever I have to assume that the receiver doesn’t pay attention, I have to be much less concise than I could be.
The above is the perfect excuse for any writer to be careless. But before blaming the sender, try listening carefully.