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Journal Entry – 08/27/19

So often when people order food, they use the phrase “I would like… “ (whether it’s a burger, a Coke, whatever).

I would like…

… as in “looking out into the future, if I had the opportunity to consume a Coke (which by implication I’ve never consumed before), I honestly think there’s a high probability I would enjoy it.”

Isn’t that a weird construct?

Maybe it’s a way to hedge your bets… because while you could imagine that you would like a Coke, the actual experience in the future may be disappointing.

Or maybe it allows for the possibility of said Coke to be out of stock… or the machine is broken… or they only carry Pepsi (or worse yet, RC Cola).

Obviously I’m taking this way too far, because what people REALLY mean is what the person in the booth behind me actually said to the server: “I want a Coke”.

Now that’s a highly accurate way of placing an order. But… doesn’t it sound a bit aggressive? Maybe too forceful? Can’t you just hear someone with a bad attitude snapping those words at a server? Can’t you picture that bratty little kid demanding of their parent “I WANT A COKE” (with the tone of “GIVE IT TO ME NOW!”).

So many social customs like that seem stranger and stranger the more you notice them. It makes you wonder how such phrasing became the de facto norm in communication, where everyone knows what you really mean even though you’re not saying what you really mean.

Maybe we are too afraid to say what we really mean.

Or maybe we don’t really know what we really mean.

But isn’t there a better way?

I would like to think so. 😉

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