Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Today I'm taking a break from Nanowrimo posting to talk about word confusion and how to avoid disappointment.

Many misunderstandings arise from what a person is heard to say and what they believe they are saying – the confusion between words. One example is in the words, appreciation, gratitude and thanks and their close relative, recognition.  A person may have an expectation, or even a hope, of appreciation for a word or action, without any expectation or desire for gratitude or thanks, yet any expression of the expectation of appreciation elicits a begrudged thank you, with no real understanding of what was meant when the speaker mentioned the word, appreciation.

  •           the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value.
  •           clear perception or recognition.

  •           the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.
  •           to express gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgement to.
If  appreciation is something given in recognition of the proper value of an action or object, then Gratitude is the state of being grateful, but not necessarily cognisant of the true value of what  has been received and thanks is an expression of that gratitude. This is worth thinking about before using any of these words or when listening to someone else use them.  

If you are expecting, or hoping for, appreciation for something you have done, there is little value in going on at length about ‘all I’ve done’ because it will fall on unresponsive ears. It will be interpreted as expected gratitude and the response will be a resentful thanks, which brings me to:

  •           an act of recognizing or the state of being recognized.
  •           the identification of something as having been previously seen, heard, known, etc.
  •           the perception of something as existing or true; realization.
  •          the acknowledgment of something as valid or as entitled to consideration: the recognition of a claim.
  •          the acknowledgment of achievement, service, merit, etc.
Therefore, recognition of a word or action is required before appreciation can be given and recognition cannot be forced.  It is like a sixth sense– you either get it or you don’t and this is because the gifts we give by word or action are rated by the experience and values of the receiver. Some take as their due, as some sort of divine right – their taking a benevolence they bestow on others by allowing them to give – such people have a complete inability to recognise and therefore appreciate,  the efforts of others.

The message of this article is to appreciate that which is freely given and reciprocate with the gift of support and understanding, choose your words to suit your intention and the recipients of your benevolence.

~ Merlene Fawdry


  1. Truly wise words from one who has learned either from experience or life lessons all of the emotions attached to each of them. With dignity covered the scars, smiled to hide the pain and when happy, danced to the beat of a tinkling tune.

    Keep singing as if no one is listening, dance as if no one is watching and smile for yourself only. Not my words but one I like.

    See you soon

    1. I like those words, too, Terry, and the words in your message. A great philosophy for life.

  2. Whether its in the home, the workplace or socially, some of our toughest challenges in life seem to be caused by miscommunication or lack of understanding. Our relationships suffer and are often derailed when either we don't feel valued or others that we care about feel we don't value them.

    You raise a really important point when you highlight how important it is for all of us to not only notice, but also be able to accurately recognise the value of things that come our way. As you point out, without this type of genuine recognition, 'thanks' can sometimes appear superficial at best or condescending and dismissive at worst.

    I think receiving genuine recognition feels at lot like being loved. The way things are in our world today, we all need, and deserve, more of that. They say - if you want to get a little, you need to give a little. Let's give a lot! I'm all for supporting anything that adds more love to the world!

    Merlene, in my experience, the extent to which you freely share your time and knowledge with others, especially within the writing community, is increasingly rare. May I offer my genuine thanks for what I have received as a result of your time, knowledge and attention and also wish you the wider recognition and appreciation you deserve.


  3. Thank you, Lorraine. Giving is good - and the getting is a gift. I could keep adding to this word list as a flurry of birds in my garden reminded me that while appreciation comes from recognition, this in turn comes from awareness. I am aware of the different species of birds in my garden each day, I recognise the gift of their presence and I appreciate it. I show this by making sure fresh water is available and give the return gift of wild bird seed. No words of thanks are needed.


For some reason I'm yet to fathom I'm unable to reply to comments left by others so thank you for dropping by and taking the time to read and comment. Merlene