Talk to you soon, or talk with you soon?
I was listening to the end of a podcast on a radio show and the announcer said, I will talk with you soon. I thought that was an odd turn of phrase. As I listened to a few more sign-offs on Podcasts and news opinion shows, I realized that many announcers ended with the same phrase.
The English language is strange, one word can make a world of difference. I will talk with you soon is, in my mind, has a different meaning than I will talk to you soon. The first phrase implies a two-way conversation. You talk and I respond to what you say, we have a discussion based on hearing each other. The second phrase, to me, means that you will talk, and I will listen. This phrase means we are going to have a one-way conversation. I will not have the opportunity to respond to what you say but I will have the opportunity to listen.
When I was teaching, I knew colleagues who would talk to their students about the subject and would only take questions if they saw that a student did not understand them. They did not like to engage in conversations with their students. I knew others who would ask questions and listen to the answers and engage in dialogue and conversation with students. The colleagues who talked to their students covered the material in the required time and felt a sense of accomplishment about making sure the students knew that they had covered all the material. The colleagues who engaged in discussion sometimes had to rush at the end to cover the material, but they believed that their students had learned the material. Neither was wrong, both approaches work in a learning situation, but it does not work for all interactions between people.
The Podcast host said their goodbyes by saying I look forward to talking with you soon, but they really meant, I look forward to talking to you soon, it strikes me that when we are engaged with another person, we should think about the question are we are talking with them or talking to them? The answer to the question, I think gives an idea of how we see our relationship or perhaps how we see the topic of discussion.
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