ambiguity of directions

yegbert

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Our trash and recycle pickup days just moved one day forward. I have now figured out they meant one day later. Describing it that way would have been clearer, right? (I mean correct!) :eek:

People here often describe the guitar string that is lowest in frequency, as the “low E”. Yes, it’s the lowest in frequency, but when I’m playing it’s the highest spatially. And if someone uses other than the more common tuning, or more than 6 strings, it may be tuned to other than E.

D’Addario and others reference strings as that “low E” being 6th, and the opposite “high E” being 1st. (That is standard, right?) I have changed a lot of strings in my life, but still use their packaging nomenclature to remind be me which is which. Does anyone here remember and use that same 1-6 nomenclature? Thankfully, the color coding of the ball ends helps me keep them in the right order and position!

When looking at someone performing on stage, which is left and right - the performer’s, or yours as the audience? I think stage <direction> means from the perspective of a performer looking at the audience, correct?

For a car, the left and right side is apparently supposed to be from the perspective of a person sitting in driving position in the seat behind the steering wheel. I read that in a useful automotive mechanical book. If I hadn’t read that I would wonder though, and I still wonder how many non mechanically inclined people interpret it the same way.

In describing direction on a guitar, I tend to describe it quickly as if the guitar is sitting on a stand with the headstock up and the bridge near the floor. I might say “below the bridge” or “south of the bridge” to describe the area between the bridge and where you commonly find the nearest strap button.

What are some ambiguous directions you encounter, and how do you word things to make them more clear?
 

bgmacaw

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What are some ambiguous directions you encounter, and how do you word things to make them more clear?

That's my job in software development, figuring out what users and product owners really want vs what they say they want. We use an Agile project management with user stories in this format.

"As a [type of user], we need [some goal] so that [some reason]."

This helps but it doesn't always capture everything and depends on the story details being descriptive and granular enough to achieve the desired results. And, sometimes there's ambiguity and things get refined or redefined on the fly although this system is much better than the ad hoc or overly rigid systems I've worked with in the past.
 

nojazzhere

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Our trash and recycle pickup days just moved one day forward. I have now figured out they meant one day later. Describing it that way would have been clearer, right? (I mean correct!) :eek:

People here often describe the guitar string that is lowest in frequency, as the “low E”. Yes, it’s the lowest in frequency, but when I’m playing it’s the highest spatially. And if someone uses other than the more common tuning, or more than 6 strings, it may be tuned to other than E.

D’Addario and others reference strings as that “low E” being 6th, and the opposite “high E” being 1st. (That is standard, right?) I have changed a lot of strings in my life, but still use their packaging nomenclature to remind be me which is which. Does anyone here remember and use that same 1-6 nomenclature? Thankfully, the color coding of the ball ends helps me keep them in the right order and position!

When looking at someone performing on stage, which is left and right - the performer’s, or yours as the audience? I think stage <direction> means from the perspective of a performer looking at the audience, correct?

For a car, the left and right side is apparently supposed to be from the perspective of a person sitting in driving position in the seat behind the steering wheel. I read that in a useful automotive mechanical book. If I hadn’t read that I would wonder though, and I still wonder how many non mechanically inclined people interpret it the same way.

In describing direction on a guitar, I tend to describe it quickly as if the guitar is sitting on a stand with the headstock up and the bridge near the floor. I might say “below the bridge” or “south of the bridge” to describe the area between the bridge and where you commonly find the nearest strap button.

What are some ambiguous directions you encounter, and how do you word things to make them more clear?
No way in the world would I agree that "one day forward" would mean "one day later". Someone simply made a mistake and "mis-spoke".
Early on in playing guitar, I was confused by guitar string numbering. I assumed that the first string you strummed (low E) would be "first" string. I eventually understood, and have used "proper" designation for decades. I came from a classical violin background, and don't remember anyone EVER referring to violin strings with numbers.....simply G, D, A, or E strings.
The last few new car manuals I've seen stated at the first that left or right references were from sitting in driver's seat. (confirming what you said) And, as someone who has done theater, I ALWAYS think in terms of "stage right" or "stage left" .....meaning from a performer's perspective. Another confusion can be "up stage" (meaning back of stage, or away from audience) or "down stage". (front of stage or toward audience) Some directional terms may not seem "logical" to the uninitiated.....and just have to be learned. ;)
edit....I realize the "up stage/ down stage" may come from the use of a "raked stage", which literally slants UP away from audience.....thus close to audience is lower, or "down".
 

jimd

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I read lot of technical papers; and write some too. I'm always amazed at how ambiguous some of that writing is, even the ones in refereed journals. I've reinvented people's techniques many times, because their descriptions were so bad they were practically useless.

The basic problem is that some people cannot see anything from another person's perspective, or at least don't care enough to try. Pretty much sums up humanities problems.
 

loopfinding

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eh, the guitar neck (or string neck in general) is not so ambiguous. it's not important where the note is spatially, but "where" the note is musically - high or low register. nobody mixes that up, that's just the way it is.

and 1-6 is pretty standard, it's a fairly old convention, probably spanish. in classical guitar music, if the fingering is ambiguous they will put the numbers on the sheet music for the suggested placement. you can't look at an F on the top line of the staff with a "2" next to it and think that's supposed to be on the A string. it would be easier if it followed the low/high convention (low E as the 1st), but so it goes.
 
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suave eddie

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"Our trash and recycle pickup days just moved one day forward. I have now figured out they meant one day later. Describing it that way would have been clearer, right? (I mean correct!)"

"No way in the world would I agree that "one day forward" would mean "one day later". Someone simply made a mistake and "mis-spoke"."


I don't understand how this is confusing.
What else could they have possibly meant?


I understand the other examples but this trash pickup day confusion makes no sense to me.
 

corliss1

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My favorite is pills - "take one pill once a day" or "take one pill twice a day"

Wait...once I've taken that one pill, how can I take it again?

English is full of these odd little things.
 

Blue Bill

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I just heard a discussion about the word priority. It used to mean the one thing that is most important to focus on. Later, it became plural, as in, "What are our priorities here, people?"
 

schmee

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I read lot of technical papers; and write some too. I'm always amazed at how ambiguous some of that writing is, even the ones in refereed journals. I've reinvented people's techniques many times, because their descriptions were so bad they were practically useless.

The basic problem is that some people cannot see anything from another person's perspective, or at least don't care enough to try. Pretty much sums up humanities problems.
Boy oh boy do I agree with this. I have written tons of tech stuff in environmental and aerospace work. Even places like Mackie etc do a very poor job at describing things from a user perspective. First, assume they know nothing. Pretend they are a 12 year old, non mechanically inclined person. Start there.
-They seem to miss the most often asked user questions. Example: "If I plug one speaker into the right side of the powered mixer, is the left side protected when no speaker is plugged in?" etc.
-They often speak from the tech writer or designer nomenclature. Using words or phrases that the average Joe doesn't even know the meaning of. DOS, RAM etc
 

Toto'sDad

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No way in the world would I agree that "one day forward" would mean "one day later". Someone simply made a mistake and "mis-spoke".
Early on in playing guitar, I was confused by guitar string numbering. I assumed that the first string you strummed (low E) would be "first" string. I eventually understood, and have used "proper" designation for decades. I came from a classical violin background, and don't remember anyone EVER referring to violin strings with numbers.....simply G, D, A, or E strings.
The last few new car manuals I've seen stated at the first that left or right references were from sitting in driver's seat. (confirming what you said) And, as someone who has done theater, I ALWAYS think in terms of "stage right" or "stage left" .....meaning from a performer's perspective. Another confusion can be "up stage" (meaning back of stage, or away from audience) or "down stage". (front of stage or toward audience) Some directional terms may not seem "logical" to the uninitiated.....and just have to be learned. ;)
edit....I realize the "up stage/ down stage" may come from the use of a "raked stage", which literally slants UP away from audience.....thus close to audience is lower, or "down".

Oh, c'mon man! Are you trying to upstage the OP? :lol:
 

Jupiter

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Having seen and written many lesson plans that were intended to be shared across a team of teachers for the purpose of delivering a consistent curriculum to several classes, I can tell you that most people do not realize how hard it is to write clear instructions.
 

Fretting out

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It’s that way!

On a direction side note....I Don’t understand why the thick strings are on the “bottom” when they are at the top in playing position?
 




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