Well, first, yes and the store is closing so you should probably burn some rubber. Second, it was Groucho's play on words showing how what we say, as clear as crystal as it may sound to us, isn't always what gets across to others. That was just literally talking; now we have texting, Facebook statuses, Instagram comments, tweets, whatever the hell you call a message on WhatsApp, etc. The more ways to communicate means the more ways to miscommunicate. So, do it right and don't blame others if you do it wrong. Which you probably are.
Answer: It's on me (don't tell my wife I said that because she's never heard those words before). As the comedian, my job is to make my audience laugh. It's up to me to 1) Make sure the joke is right for this crowd and 2) Get the joke across in a way that the audience will understand. I could've read the audience better and saw that they wouldn't be so into a particular joke, or I could've worded it differently. Instead, I chose to force the joke, and that never works. The audience wasn't happy and I wasn't, either.
This isn't just the case in comedy; this is the case with every single thing that anyone ever says, ever. Ever gotten frustrated that your significant other picked up the wrong milk (you obviously wanted the organic kind because, come on, more expensive + the word "organic" = better, duh)? Well, that's on you. I don't care how many times you said it or even if you stapled a Post-It Note to his forehead (please don't do that). if you wanted it done, then you had to make sure that he was both genuinely able to do it and that you said it in a way that he would understand, not necessarily the way that you would understand. Instead of saying, "Don't forget the milk", try saying, "Thanks for remembering to get a gallon of the skim milk with the cow on the front and the blue cap." You've put positive pressure on him by showing that you are confident that he will do it and you've been very descriptive in what you want. Now if he screws it up, then you've got some ammo (again not staples).
Basically, remember that YOU already know what you're saying (hopefully, if not, then we really need to talk), so it's not important if it makes sense to you as long as it makes sense to whom you're talking. You wouldn't say something to a two-year-old kid the same way that you would to an adult. "Time to go night night!" may be more appropriate for the two-year-old while, "Oh my God, will you turn off that damn iPad and come to bed?!" may work better for your significant other playing "just one more level" on Candy Crush.
Saying things that don't match your audience may not just prevent you from getting your point across; it also can make you look like an ass. When we hear things that we don't understand, we automatically get on the defensive. It's almost like a reflex, as we feel stupid for not understanding what that person said, and we don't like feeling stupid. Our minds/egos/psyches literally can't deal with that, so we defend ourselves by not saying that we don't get it but that the other person is attacking us by trying to make us feel dumb, or we reply angrily that the person didn't make any sense. Think about it, is it more aggressive to say, "I'm sorry, I don't get what you're saying?" or "You're not making any sense." Both can seem like the same thing, but the first one is a person accepting responsibility for not understanding while the second one is telling the other person that he's bad at communicating. Subtle difference, but it's important.
If you're saying things in the way that you understand, and whoever you're talking to doesn't understand, then you've set the stage for a fight. And, honestly, you'd be mostly responsible for that. If you make sure that you're speaking the audience's language and not coming off as talking down to them, then you'll not only avoid the fight, but you'll actually get your point across. It's amazing what a little tweak like that can do. What's even better is that you probably do this all the time and don't realize it, and it's probably done to you all the time and you don't realize it. Just being conscious of it helps a ton.
A big sign of this is if you find yourself saying to someone, or to yourself, "How do you not get this?! I tell you every single time!" Yeah, that's you saying it wrong every single time. If she's not getting it, then you're saying it wrong. Sorry, Champ (do people still say that?), that's your bad (or say that?).
If you find yourself constantly feeling like people don't get you, or if you feel like nothing that you say is right, then this can really help you out. This is one of those universal things that doesn't apply only to relationships or only to parenting or only to work life. This applies everywhere. If you are more aware of what you're saying and who you're talking to, then people will view you in a more positive light and be more interested in what you have to say. The more interested they are, the more that they will listen. The more that they listen, the less pressure that you'll feel, and then you will be even more likely to continue to put things in a way that avoids conflict and communicates what you're saying effectively. It's a viciously awesome cycle.
Of course, what's the best way to learn to talk more effectively? Talk about it. There are some of you who don't understand what the hell I just wrote, and that's not your fault (and not your problem). In trying to deliver this to a wider audience, it may not have been put in a way that works for you. That doesn't make you dumb (though wearing flip flops and socks might), but leave me a comment or get in touch with me and I'll clarify. You can contact me through this website, shoot me an e-mail, or call/text me at (302) 464-0021.
Expressing yourself is your responsibility, so do it in a way that gets your point across. Know what I'm saying? . . . see what I did there? "Know what I'm saying" when talking about it being my responsibility to get the --- forget it, I'll rewrite it. That's on me.