Rex's Rant: Meanings often difficult to see

So how many of you read? I do not mean, "How many of you read my column?" How many of you take the time TO FULLY read something and gain an understanding of what the author is trying to convey? For those of you who have a problem with reading, I have an idea that will make this article very easy for you to UNDERSTAND. I want MY ARGUMENT to be very clear this week.

Every week I get e-mails about THIS column. And, every WEEK, without fail, there will be at least one e-mail from someone who didn't understand something I wrote. I have no problem writing YOU and letting you know the general idea if you take the time to write. I feel that many of the questions and misunderstandings that I'm approached with, however, CAN easily be answered by reading the body of text fully first. If it were ONLY this simple.

Taking a deeper look into this, I find there are many factors involved that could cause the misunderstanding. Maybe you READ a word or sentence in the column that struck a nerve with you. It offended you because of your educational major, or ethical and moral upbringing. After reading the offensive word, your whole slant on the rest of THE column was different. Because of this slant, you were unable to fully understand the message of the column.

To say this is the case with everyone would be BOLD. If you aren't eating correctly, aren't sleeping correctly, are hung over, high or aren't wearing required contacts or glasses, you could just not see the same words as everyone else. I have to admit this has happened to me on several occasions. You read WORDS or sentences and think you read something completely different. I still can't help but think it is something else.

While this may answer the reasons behind a few of the e-mails I get each week, it doesn't fully answer why. I think I've figured out the problem, and it is college.

In college YOU ARE asked by many professors each week to read chapter after chapter and book after book on topics that may or may not interest you. You have SO many classes keeping you BUSY THAT you don't have enough time to read everything. Or, YOU are like everyone else in college and feel the need to procrastinate. I still do this. This is the first column I've written in three to four weeks. Why did I wait until now? With my job I DON'T always have time to write. But my main reason for waiting until now is because of it being due this weekend.

When we get into the habit of procrastinating, we HAVE to find TIME or shortcuts to make up for the time we sat around drinking and watching television. So that big test is tomorrow? How are you going TO catch up on all of the reading you need to know for the test? I have an idea. You can skim the paragraphs to get a general idea or theme. And even quicker yet, you can skim only the sections with bold words.

When you READ this way, it doesn't always work out as planned, and especially won't work reading OPINION COLUMNS. You can miss key points in the body of text. You can misinterpret what the column was actually ABOUT, and come away with a complete misunderstanding.

I'm not saying that you should take the time to read everything thoroughly. YOUR grades might improve, but where would you find the time? But if you have a MISUNDERSTANDING about something you read, perhaps you should take another look at WHAT you read. And if YOU still disagree, then take the time to write your complaint. It makes it easier for me to understand your argument when I READ it.

Write to Aaron at


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