WDTM? [What does that mean?]

WDTM?
[What Does That Mean?]

WDTM is shorthand for What Does That Mean?
When we are trying to make sense of something we’ve seen
Or heard someone say, or maybe we’ve read
Which leaves us confused and quite often misled

A chapter in a text book that is required reading
Such obscure words, comprehension impeding
Or a professor whose lectures don’t throw any light
And preachers who vaguely hint at your impending plight!

Legal jargon is frequently quite impenetrable
Insurance renewals equally unintelligible
The instructions for assembly of any flat-pack
We must be smart if their secrets we’d crack

Guidance to fix a puncture on a modern car
Our mechanical awareness is really stretched far
Even setting a post code address on the new sat nav
Requires more savvy than most of us have

Have we ever tried a digital radio to programme?
It demands more awareness than an old wireless ham
Equally I  find the handbook for an alarm clock
Can give the uninitiated quite a nasty shock

What about the manual for the flat screen TV set?
It can easily bring us out in quite a cold sweat
All its options for timers and downloads galore
And too many choices that we mostly deplore

In completing Tax Returns for the HMRC
We must always be as honest as we can be
But our attempts at the truth can easily be thwarted
As the language of their questions is so very turgid

At any time have you tried to make sense
Of those paragraphs that are ever so intense
In contract conditions expounding the law
Or warnings from banks if you dare overdraw

Which reminds me of messages sent out from the bank
I know they will claim they are just being frank
How many paragraphs does it need to explain
If you cash in early that ISA there will be no gain

The same problems arise if you feel bold enough
To enter the realm of social media and all that guff
Setting yourself up on  Twitter, Facebook or Google plus
Is rarely achieved without a great deal of fuss

In all these situations we are increasingly confused
Words spoken or written simply leave us bemused
The recurring question is What Does That Mean?
To receive an answer to this we are really keen

Perhaps the problem is that we are awash with information
So many words thrown at us just leads to frustration
We need time to make sense of all that we are told
There is little doubt we’re at the information threshold

So when we receive any message, we should readily enquire
What does it say, what facts need we acquire?
And if we can make little sense of the communication
We should take early steps for its extirpation

W D T M ? should be our clarion call
Clarity from the message should be the demand from us all
Make them say what they mean, and truly mean what they say
Thus a clear message to us all they might surely convey

Ken Fisher

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