You might suppose at once that it is the big words or the technical words which are most misunderstood.
This is not the case.
Words like a, the, exist, such and other words that “everybody knows” are found with great frequency as misunderstood words when doing Word Clearing.
It takes a big dictionary to define these simple words fully. This is another oddity. The small dictionaries also suppose “everybody knows what that word means.”
It is almost incredible to see that a university graduate has gone through years and years of study of complex subjects and yet does not know what “or” or “by” or “an” means. It has to be seen to be believed. Yet when cleaned up, his whole education turns from a solid mass of question marks to a clean useful view.
A test of schoolchildren in Johannesburg, South Africa, once showed that intelligence decreased with each new year of school!
The answer to the puzzle was simply that each year they added a few dozen more crushing misunderstood words onto an already confused vocabulary that no one ever got them to look up.
Stupidity is the effect of misunderstood words.
In those areas which give man the most trouble, you will find the most alteration of fact, the most confused and conflicting ideas and of course the greatest number of misunderstood words.
THE EARLIEST MISUNDERSTOOD WORD IN A SUBJECT IS A KEY TO LATER MISUNDERSTOOD WORDS IN THAT SUBJECT.
In studying a foreign language it is often found that the grammar words of one’s own language that tell about the grammar in the foreign language are basic to not being able to learn the foreign language.
It is important that these words be cleared.