I'm taking a Leadership seminar this week. Yesterday we where talking about language and the process of communication. The seminar leader said that when you are trying to communicate with someone else it is very important to "listen to their listening."
It brought to mind an experience I had with Middle Son some years ago. I was teaching him to put his clothes in the dresser. We put all the shirts in the drawer, and the I told him to close it. Middle looked at me in bafflement. After a moment it occurred to me that he might be having trouble with "clothes" versus "close". So I told him to shut the draw. And he did. By listening to his listening I learned to avoid homophones when communicating with Middle.