"Send three and four pence, we're going to a dance!"
This was what happened to the message by the time it had been passed down a line of English soldiers in battle, each of whom had muttered it into the ear of the next. It had begun as "Send reinforcements, we're going to advance!" but it had changed by the time it had got to the end of the line. Nevertheless, simply by taking stock of the actual circumstances and use of common sense, one can easily clear the confusion and rectify the problem before everyone gets killed.
As a mariner, I was trained to say, “Stand by two anchors!” instead of 'both' (port and starboard) anchors. This is because in the heat of the circumstance, the word 'both' can easily be misheard and be mistaken for the word 'port' anchor only, with possible dire consequences all around. Some years ago, two Boeing 747s crammed with passengers collided in thick fog in the Canary Islands due to miscommunication with airport traffic controllers. Many were killed. Nearer home, an American cargo plane crashed while approaching Subang airport about 20 years ago, I believe also due to the same mistake.
Which brings me to what I am trying to say. People misunderstand one another all the time. Produce a stick and someone will get hold of the wrong end of it. Produce a set of trees and someone will end up peeing and barking up the wrong one. And worse, if the spoken or written word is in an ancient language very few can completely grasp and understand and still do not quite comprehend.
Islamic history, especially, is full of conflicts due to various sanctimonious readings and interpretations of the Quran and hadiths. I am no expert, but I do firmly believe that as in the above examples, we have to always consider the circumstances and the prevailing situation in every case as it may be. Whenever in any doubt, I believe common sense should always prevail, lest we think that we are all going dancing instead of advancing ...
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