I was having a online conversation (through AIM) with none-other than Marisa Chock when my mother appeared behind me. She read:
“I hope your class (2006) would have a better senior retreat than the Class of 2005,” I said.
Marisa replied, “I hope the senior entrance will be better…I don’t remember the ’05 entrance as being anything special”
I said “Indeed.”
My mother then said to me, “Why do you say such empty words on there?”, referring to my use of “indeed.”
That got me thinking about empty words as confirmations. Words like “sure,” “great,” “wonderful,” “yup,” “mmhmm,” and “indeed.” While there is slight variance from the online and in-person usage, we use these “empty words” all the time to confirm what other people are saying and more importantly that we are listening. We might not necessarily care about the subject but in polite usage, we move conversations along with these phrases.
In this case, I happened to agree with Marisa but what if I didn’t? What if I thought that the 2005 senior entrance at convocation was something special and spectacular? Would it be worth disagreeing with Marisa or would I also say “indeed” just to move the conversation along?
Those questions lend themselves to the topic of disagreeing. It’s okay to disagree up to a certain point but I really hope a person’s life is not made up entirely of disagreement because one would arguing quite a bit. I suppose it’s a case of picking your battles. What do you care about and what do you let slide?