I Hear That

Day 22. 55 pages, 26,151 words.

Here’s one for the completely pointless rambling nitpick file. Been a busy week, yesterday I found out quite a lot about my current work project’s final deliveries that mean I have a great big but ultimately relatively simple task ahead of me, but for today I am just heading into the head office and generally having a bit of a break from the project before getting started. Well, re-started. Continuing. Whatever.

Last night, out of the blue, I suddenly began to think “hang on, when did the phrase I hear that stop being a hedging remark and become one of unequivocal support for the other person’s viewpoint?

I did a little bit of research into the phrase and found – obviously – that its meaning can vary according to the way it is written / said, and in the context of the conversation. Telling someone I hear what you’re saying is usually a precursor to a but (the I Hear You Butt, perhaps?) or is otherwise hedging – “an expression indicating that the speaker has been heard, but implying that there is no agreement,” in other words. I hear you, and I hear that, are usually preceded or followed by buddy or some other context, and denote a shared experience or opinion.

Why is this important?

It’s not.

It’s just a random aside. But for my part, I’ve always been cautious about the phrase – using it, and whenever I see or hear it. Because even if it sometimes looks like a Type One I Hear That, it might in fact be a Type Two I Hear That (or vice versa, and I acknowledge at this point that I didn’t actually define either of the above as Type One or Type Two, because obviously it doesn’t matter), and the person you’re conversing with might just be pretending to agree with you in order to avoid an argument. They might be pretending to agree with you without even realising they are pretending.

Or they might be about to call you “buddy” and high-five you, so get ready for that eventuality.

Did you think about that? I hear you.

I hear that.
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4 Responses to I Hear That

  1. thelinza says:

    Why say ‘I hear you buddy’ when the 90s provided us with the much more efficient ‘word’ ? 😀

    I really hate how the italic ‘I’ and the forward slash are really close together. Before coffee, context clues do not exist.

  2. aaronthepatriot says:

    I say “I hear you” to mean I don’t necessarily agree. If I ever did say “I hear that”, which must be delivered with a considerable exaggerated emphasis (is that redundant?) on all three syllables of that phrase, I have always thought it does indeed mean you agree and as far as I know, it always has.

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