“Lost” is two concepts with one definition

One great abyss between men and women involves being lost navigationally. It always creates an uproar. I’m no different from the typical guy when it comes to asking for directions. I’d never do it.

I think the problem is that lost is two independent concepts that are represented by only one word. Interestingly, all men think lost means unable to find origin and all women think lost means unable to find destination. In the car, a woman says, “We’re lost!” and the man says, “No we’re not!” Both are correct. However, the meanings they’re both using are similar, so they don’t realize they’re talking about different concepts.

Arguments can continue for a long time if neither party understands the other is using a different, similar word. A woman can suggest, “Let’s stop and ask for directions!” and it be a reasonable suggestion for either definition of lost. I’d liken the conversation between a man and a women over whether they’re lost to something like this.

“I can’t stand poetry.”

“How can you not like poultry? It’s my favorite.”

“It’s just so tasteless.”

“Not if you buy the right kind!”

“I’m not paying for poetry!”

“What, you’re going to produce your own?”

“Maybe I am!”

Just like two people can both dislike poetry and like poultry and argue, two people can clearly understand that they can find their origin but not their destination and still argue. Lost is a homophone that only has one definition listed in the dictionary.

2 thoughts on ““Lost” is two concepts with one definition

  1. It’s funny, because although I definitely have noticed that men are better on average than women at directions, the BEST person I know with directions is a girl. She not only never gets lost, but she can describe how to get somewhere to anyone, to an amazing level of detail.

    I LOVE asking for directions though. I feel like when you ask someone for directions, it tells you a lot about them and their preferences. Some people prefer to take highways and will take them even when they go out of the way or aren’t the most efficient path. Other people seem averse to highways. Then some people have their “pet” favourite streets. Here in Cleveland, there are always a TON of ways to get from point A to point B…and many of them either have an equal length of time, or have some sort of tradeoff. (Like, this one street, MLK street, is very direct, and has no stoplights, and nice scenery, but has a very low speed limit, and frequently has traffic accidents on it. One street has a high speed limit but you always get hit at lights. And most of the highways go out of the way to where you’re going…it’s interesting)

  2. I’m male and I like asking for directions. My God do you think that means I’m gay! It’llbe a hell of a shock to my girlfriend

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