This post is a disaster – I’m positive! To save time go straight to the end.
I wrote an article a couple of years ago about the use of the term “Yes No” – okay it doesn’t sound like a term of speech but everybody was using it – have a read, click here.
I thought this phenomenon was over, well it is, I think, sort of, um, yes and no, yes no, well, pretty much…. Oh, God I have become one of ‘them.’
I would just occasionally like someone to use ‘positive language’ in answering my questions.
What do I mean by ‘positive language?’
I think the best way to explain it is to look at what it isn’t. Here are a few examples of the opposite to positive language answers:
Me to the mechanic “When will my car be ready”
The mechanic “It should be ready Friday”
Me at the bank “Are there any charges for this transaction.”
The bank teller “No, there shouldn’t be.”
Me in the supermarket “Can you tell me were the tomato sauce is please?”
Supermarket staff “I think it is in isle 5.”
Me to a mate at the pub “Is this illegal”
My (Ex) Mate “No, I don’t think so.”
Other great ‘key words’ are ‘probably‘ ‘maybe‘ ‘sometimes‘ ‘usually‘ etc etc
I am confused. Surely you know something or you don’t. Things either are or are not. Why do we give these answers and more importantly why do we accept them?
Is it because we are afraid to say “I don’t know” because that may actually entail us having to find out – or is it because we don’t care, on either side of the question?
I am sure some of these questions are more important that others…. e.g. “Are there peanuts in this?” or “Is this a live wire?” or “Are you allergic to this medication?”
However, surely if we get ourselves into a situation of asking questions and accepting answers in the realm of guessing the trivial can suddenly become important. Or, again do we care.
What is usually the purpose of asking a question? Is it to gain information or to abrogate responsibility?
I am beginning to think that as we walk around this earth, mostly quite oblivious to our purpose here, our ultimate destination unknown and our lives dictated by the media (the merchants of misery) we are getting to a point where the questions don’t really matter and the answers are even more irrelevant because in the end it will always be someone else fault anyway.
I also think that asking many of these questions and getting any definitive answer is a moot point, as we have already made our assumptions, formed our opinions and have our own beliefs that so influence the current situations that further information is only asked for and answers given to annoy us.
Let’s revisit the above questions with our assumed, believed and set opinions in the open:
Me to the mechanic “When will my car be ready?” (Thought: Why am I asking it will be a guess anyway and they are always late….)
The mechanic “It should be ready Friday.” (Thought: Fuck knows)
Me at the bank “Are there any charges for this transaction?” (Thought: The bank will rip me off anyway so why am I asking – how will I pay that electricity bill?)
The bank teller “No, there shouldn’t be.” (Thought: How would I know – you’re in a bank there are charges for breathing!)
Me in the supermarket “Can you tell me were the tomato sauce is please?” (Thought: I have a rough idea, I’m just too lazy to look…)
Supermarket staff “I think it is in isle 5.” (Thought: Fuck knows, I’m 15 and only been working here for a week…)
Me to a mate at the pub “Is this illegal” (Thought: I’m doing it anyway, I just need an excuse..)
My (Ex) Mate “No, I don’t think so.” (Thought: Of course it is you idiot… this is going to be great!)
Okay, probably not true in every case, but maybe a few.
It’s just that I think we ask questions about a lot of things, no caring about the answer but seeking reassurance that what I suspect is something I don’t have to worry about and if I ask the question I can blame someone else.
In addition when the shit does hits the fan I can say I asked and they said ‘Yes’ and they can deny it.
So, where does the responsibility actually lie – in the question or in the answer. I think both. Plus it doesn’t hurt to ask and it doesn’t hurt to say “sorry I don’t know.”
And, then there are just sometimes when we ask questions because the other person doesn’t know and we do….
Reader of this blog “What is this article trying to say?”
Me “I’m not really sure?”
Reader of this blog “But, surely you wrote it to get some point across?”
Me “Initially I did, then I got a bit lost as to what that point was. I think I
just wanted to have a whinge and for someone to listen?”
Reader of this blog “So what should I do now?”
Me “Probably get on with your life.”
Reader of this blog “I think I will.”
Me “I should too.”
We then watched Netflix for 4 hours and laughed at Youtube clips until we were board.
I had to leave and pick up the car – it was due last Thursday…..
PS: I have just re-read this blog, I didn’t get it. I read it to my wife and she said it was a complex concept and confusingly written – she is a good judge. I laughed at having wasted 30 minutes writing it and as such – just HAD to publish it immediately! My explanation of positive language I am sure has been a failure – I think! I am sure most haven’t read this far anyway!