Do you know what Mopar is or are you dumb like me?

One of the biggest communication mistakes we make is assuming that others have the same frame of reference for topics, terms and ideas as we do.  This has always been a recipe for disastrous miscommunication, but in the Information Age where we communicate with so many different people from different cultures and backgrounds, it has become an even larger issue. First I'd like to give you a little history behind my asking the question, "Do you know what Mopar is?" Last Wednesday evening, my daughter, my husband and I were discussing how cars had changed over the years.  My first car, Iggy (a 1974 Datsun 710 with the pea green paint peeling off its nearly bald head) had no power steering.  It was tough to drive especially for a 5' nuthin' young girl with three or four muscles TOPS!  From there my husband launched into a rabbit trail of car anecdotes.  We were both traveling happily along Memory Lane until he mentioned Mopar. I asked him what that was.  He was shocked and a little indignant that I, a seemingly intelligent woman of 47, wouldn't know what Mopar was!  My daughter, our 19 year old walking encyclopedia, admitted she didn't know what it was either.  What followed was a conversation where we felt accused of gross ignorance of epic proportion. I thought myself a fairly intelligent soul who had a good working knowledge of most major issues, even if they were related to a field in which I was not an expert.  My husband is a car guy.  Maybe most guys are.  I was never into cars-much to my husband's dismay.  Oh, I know the major makes and models, but I have no conception of how they work or what parts you can get for them.  Further, I have no interest in the thousands of various car magazines he has collected over the last 40 years. I was pretty sure that very few people who were NOT car connoisseurs would know what Mopar was.  I thought about taking an informal poll.  Perhaps this will serve as such.  If you are not a car enthusiast, do you know what Mopar is?  No fair if your husband or son is a car nut and they talk about it 24/7! Now those of you who, like me, had no idea what Mopar is and now simply MUST know, I looked up the term Mopar on the web.  I found a Wikipedia entry that defined Mopar (short for MOtor PARts) as the automobile parts and service arm of Chrysler used as performance parts since the 1920's.  It also talked about how Car Enthusiasts had begun to use the word to mean any Chrysler built vehicle. Did you note my not-so-subtle, italicized hint there?  It says Car Enthusiasts.  I presume from this statement that most Regular Folk, might not know what Mopar was.  After all, it's not like Mopar is written on the outside of each car the way Chrysler is. I wondered how many times we, as communicators, have made others feel dumb for not knowing something or being familiar with a term.  How many times have our assumptions made for hurt feelings and miscommunication? Have you ever had a conversation with a retired News Junkie?  I'll bet there were times when he called or emailed you to share breaking news of which you were yet uninformed because you were, oh how shall I put this... WORKING!  Ever hear, "What are you living under a rock or something?" Accusing friends and family of being an ignorant fool isn't the best way to win friends and influence conversations.  I find it much more gratifying to help someone come to understand something than to verbally smack them for their lack of knowledge.  The Lord has many references to how we should speak with one another in the Bible.  I've never come across one that advised us to berate others less knowledgeable.  The scriptures I find are all references to grace and edification such as these: "Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6 "He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend." Proverbs 22:11 "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24 God does speak of offense, but it's in quite a  different context: "An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of the citadel." Proverbs 18:19 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula.  You can also find JoJo on web sites such as and  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit


  • Cindy at

    LOL! I probably had the same reaction as you when I first heard my husband use the term “MOPAR.” Sounds like he and your DH would get along quite well. ;)

  • Linda Ann Nickerson

    I do know what MOPAR is.

    After seeing all the trucks on the highway, years ago, I checked it out.

    Now that we have American-made automobiles, I know firsthand.


  • BeckyJoie

    I guess I guessed ok. LOL. How’s that for redundancy. LOL. But I am one of those “no fair” people. Car nuts run rampant here. LOL. Good point to the story. The other thing that bugs me is when you join a group that has an annual event where it is labled with an acronym or catchy name and noone explains what it’s about-they just expect that you will know what they are talking about when they use the label. For instance, Walk for Water. What on earth is it? People were suppose to sign up for it but we had no explanation for what it was. It might be a worthy cause but you still have to explain what it is to people who aren’t familiar. Great points made in your post. (Per usual.)

  • Cindy Holman

    I didn’t know and neither did Greg :) So you can tell your dear husband that!! And we are BOTH very intelligent :) Just last night Greg was saying something I had never heard of either – I can’t repeat the phrase here on your blog – but it was something he had read and thought it was “common knowledge” and I had NEVER heard of it! Talk about uninformed and naive!! Yup that’s me. You’re not alone.

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