Don't talk TO me, talk WITH me!

Don't talk TO me, talk WITH me!

I caught myself today writing that I had talked to someone. But then I thought about the conversation, and I realized I had talked with him. I think it’s an expression worth defending.

If I write or say that I talk to someone, the idea of the other person speaking at all is not there.

But talking with someone puts that idea, that second voice, into the conversation — just as walking to someone (you go over to someone who isn’t moving) differs from walking with someone (the two of you going somewhere).

It’s a short distinction, but a useful one, so I’m glad I caught myself — and I’m glad it was a case of talking with this person. After all, doing all the talking is tiresome.

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook. 

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  • I agree, but talking to someone at telephone "customer service," someone behind a teller counter or desk at a bank, or someone at "computer support" is talking to them. Now, of course, one can use the Internet Chat Box and get something unresponsive back, like "did you unplug and then plug in your television?" Occasionally, that works, but after 20 years of electronic gear needing that, I don't need some chat bot to talk to me in that manner.

    As an example that I can now survive without being talked to in that manner, I kept getting emails that my Xfinity speed was increased to 100 mbps. Instead of calling to complain that Speedtest didn't show that, I stuck a pin into the reset hole of my gateway. After about the 4th time of doing that, Speedtest now shows about 90.

  • Thanks, Jack. Customer service phone and computer conversations aren't the sort of talk I was thinking of, but you add some interesting points.

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