I am republishing this article, because it is one of the most important things to get… That context is decisive.
I have been trying to teach context, but context is a very difficult concept: it is like looking at the sky behind the clouds.
A cloud against a blue sky is a very different cloud than against a black twirling mass of angry space…
When you have a feeling, a sensation, like a kick in the stomach, it means different things when you are pregnant, when you are psychically attacked, when the phone rings… etc. The kick is the same, the context is what changed.
Mostly people won’t provide you with context of their communication: they don’t think you need it: they assume you know it. But you don’t, and when you don’t know the context, the default context steps in.