The other day as I was helping my daughter get in the car, I saw a man coming toward us. He was walking with a strut somewhere between a pimp stride and a drunk man walking an invisible tightrope.

I didn't pay much attention as I was rushing my daughter to get in the car and buckle up. When he made his way to me I could tell that he wasn't all there. He didn't seem drunk or even high. Just someone down on his luck -- as well as brain cells, most likely due to previous years of drug use. He asked me, in his words, "skoozedunmenbu'ya y'zprchunjfercofeh?"

Thanks to a technique my mom taught me, I knew exactly what he said. Here's what he said and how you can understand what people are saying when they're slurring their words or just have a speech problem.

Basically, you can't break down each syllable into it's own word as, most of the times, the end of one syllable is also the beginning of the next word. The trick is to replay what they said over and over in your own voice (out loud, if you can) and, eventually, it will break up and make sense.

What the man said was, "Excuse me, don't mean to bug you. You have spare change for a coffee?"

In an effort of not getting murdered, I did happen to have 50 cents on me, so I gave him what I had, told him to take care and he glided into the restaurant from there.

Sometimes people just don't articulate what they're saying. Sometimes it's no fault of their own. They know what they're saying, but can't understand why others can't. We've all been there. Next time, see if this trick works for you.

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