The Encyclopedia Britannica offers the following definition of intentional fallacy:
This is a pretty good description of how utterance and communication differ. Once an utterance is made and understood within a system, the speaker or writer loses control over the meaning, and the utterance can never be taken back; it’s irreversible.
An utterance is the statement spoken or written or in some other way expressed. We can also use the word signifier. But an utterance must be understood in order to have any meaning, and the meaning does not have to be the intended meaning. This is crucial. As long as something is understand, at least to the point that communication can continue, then the utterance has done its job. Understanding and misunderstanding are the same in this case. There is no moral valuation that places understanding above misunderstanding.
Luhmann defines communication as the synthesis of information, utterance, and understanding. Understanding marks a difference between information and utterance. Communication does not have any goal of greater clarity or the reduction of confusion. As long as communication continues, it doesn’t matter if psychic systems experience understanding or misunderstanding. In fact, it is misunderstanding that tends to lead to more communication, as speakers attempt to clear up the misunderstanding or change another person’s mind.
In communication, ego and alter are both needed. Even if a psychic system is communicating with itself and words are never spoken aloud, the system has to split itself into ego and alter. Together, ego and alter achieve communication. This is a system operation, not the act of a person or communicator. Communication is an event, not an act.