Disambiguation

I just learned the meaning of disambiguation: clarification that results from the removal of ambiguity.  It also seems to mean: an interpretation that removes obstacles to understanding.  Oddly for a word that is all about clarity, there are quite a few definitions and uses of this word that have similar but not the same meaning or usage.

This is a word in all it’s meanings that you should know.  It is about making something as easy to understand as possible without leaving the opportunity for diverse and possibly contradictory ideas about what it means.  It is about ensuring that all understand something in the same way so they can move forward unified on what they’re doing. 

It’s about making it more difficult for misunderstanding and the resultant mistakes to occur. It’s about total and crystal clear clarity.

It is sadly lacking in normal discourse and even rarer in business and political talk.

Is it any wonder we have so many disastrous misunderstandings? Too many practice ambiguation rather than disambiguation. Too many are unwilling to express their ideas clearly lest others find out how shallow their ideas or ineffectual their thinking.  Others use ambiguation as a way to have it all ways.  After all, if you can’t understand what someone is talking about you can interpret it any way you like.  Unfortunately others will interpret it differently leading to all kinds of misunderstandings, actions at odds with each other, and, in the case of issues between countries, possibly war.

And then there is the war that occurs within an organization…all for the lack of clarity.

 

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