There is an important difference between miscommunication and misconception.
Miscommunication happens when language is confused. Take this example: I use a series of words to attempt to convey a thought and one or two of those words take on a different meaning than intended in the listeners ear. The initial idea is heard differently than intended. Any further communication will be confusing, unless the miscommunication is identified and rectified. Miscommunication can be remedied with continued questions, adapting language, giving examples, using drawings, and other forms of thorough communication. The conversation keeps going until the initial idea is conveyed, and all parties learn something as they discover the source of the miscommunication – often just that one word that was heard differently.
Misconception is a deeper issue. Misconception has to do with a misalignment in how different people imagine a particular idea. Here’s a simple example. When I say the word “apple” what first comes to mind? Is it a deep red apple, a green Granny Smith, the snap of a Fuji apple, or the company that makes the iPhone? Each one of these options is a conception of the word apple. The concepts around words bring with them inherited meanings of purpose, sensations, and application. If concepts are misaligned communication can’t happen. We end up talking past one another. Think for a minute about what misalignment of the concepts of government, marriage, religion, or love, might lead to.
Here’s the thing. We often take the concepts we carry for granted. We don’t question them. We believe them, whatever they may be, to be correct, and shared by those around us. They are integral to our operating in the world. But we need to be careful. Misconception is often confused for miscommunication, but is actually a deeper problem, and needs different conversations to solve.