1

For example:

Teacher: Give me an example of a word starting with the letter 'Q'.

Student: Queue?

Teacher: Yes, Q, now go on.

Student: Queue!

Teacher: Yes, a word starting with the letter Q.

Student: No, no, a queue, like the bus queue!

Is there a word that encapsulates such situations where language causes a misunderstanding?

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    While the answer below is interesting, I think your example is more a homophone issue. What about other types of situations? – Cascabel Jun 5 '19 at 19:47
  • While the words in question are a homophone, the misunderstanding itself is a semantic barrier caused by the homophone. – Jordan Stubblefield Jun 5 '19 at 23:25
2

Those can be referred to as semantic barriers, a type of language barrier.

Semantic barrier refers to the misunderstanding between the sender and receiver arising due to the different meanings of words, and other symbols used in the communication. They usually arise when the information is not in the simple language and contains those words or symbols that have multiple meanings.

For further reference here are two articles on semantic barriers:

Business Topia

Business Jargons

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