Even funnier? The way we use it.
“It's so cold today,” LuAnn said, “I guess I missed the window of nice weather here in Santa Cruz.”
Matilda looked up, “Won’t it be nice again for a bit in September?”
Matilda looked up, “It’ll be nice again for a bit in September, won’t it?”
Matilda looked up, “I have heard that it might be nice again for a bit in September. What do you think?”
Quick class, which is the best response?
The final, and most diplomatic choice, is not my natural inclination. Sadly, my off the cuff responses to things tends to fall into the first category, what some people might call Questioning While Asserting and Thus Implying Condescension.
Audience, to be sure, matters. If LuAnn is the local, or has been the local longer, she is right no matter what while Matilda should really just nod and smile. If, however, Matilda is the local, she can pretty much say whatever she wants; “Nah, it’ll be nice in September.”
I kid, but only sort of. Tone an inflection count for a lot… and by a small change in word order it is possible to really affect the perception your words have.
For some reason, I have been thinking about this a lot lately.
I have a tendency to talk and think as I talk or afterwards, or sometimes not at all. I know I need to be more conscientious of what I say, who I say it to , and what may or may not be implied.
Language is funny… and even funnier than how we use it, is what a land mine it can be. And at 29 I am still learning. –Le-Sigh-