Got That? Got It.

In a job interview recently, I was struck by the interviewers use of the statement "Got it." The interviewer said it after almost everything I said.

I guess I was communicating pretty well, eh?

Reflecting on it afterwards, I wondered what the interviewer's frequent use of "Got it" really meant? Could it have been a Type A person's display of impatience with my lengthy, story-laden, answers?

How do we know what another person is "getting" anyway when we are trying to convey something important about ourselves to them? As David Berlo once famously said, Meanings are in people. In other words, what I am intending may or may not be what the other party is getting.

The little word "get" appears to be a very old one, going way back to German roots, meaning "to obtain." And it has many and varied uses (almost 60 in Webster's) in the English language, including:

- To receive, as in to get a gift

- To reach someone over a distance, as in to get him on the phone

- To kill, as in they got him with one shot

- To irritate, as in she gets to me

- To understand, as in I get the joke

As a Communication Guy, I love language and am fascinated by where words come from and how we use them to connect with others and create shared meanings.

Get it?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, December 14, 2008


Paco Bailac said…
Best Regards from Barcelona
Terrence Seamon said…
Same to you, Paco.
Tim Wright said…
Look for your Got That? Got It? posting to appear verbatim in my Culture to Engage ( Thursday, 12/18.
Terrence Seamon said…
I will, Tim.

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