I'm a big proponent of saying exactly what you mean. Our ability to use specific words to clarify our intent is one of the best things about language in general.
I used to accidentally say things like 'I'm sorry' when caught up in a conversation with someone who was very upset or angry. But after working for years in various jobs, I realized that some people take that sort of comment very literally. They automatically take your simple apology as an admission of responsibility, when all you're really trying to do is make them feel better.
I am also very careful not to commit to anything that I won't be able to provide. My tendency to take language fairly literally has also led me to demanding more clarity from those who are communicating to me.
But, I admit to being completely lost on one particular communication front: dating.
I was hanging out with this guy on Friday, who is nice and easy to talk to...and I like him on a very basic level. Boyfriend level, I'm not sure. But definitely enough to consider it. So, I gave him my phone number when he suggested that he could "get my number and call me sometime on purpose to hang out."
So...to a person like me, who loves the specificity that language enables us to achieve, I find myself wondering - what the hell does "hang out" mean these days?
I think that dating used to be a lot more formal and clear cut. These days I can't tell if I'm just making friends or heading towards a potential good night kiss. I think that they should publish an online guide, one that changes with the times, that tells you the new rules & definitions of dating.
There are certain areas in my life where I feel smart. But dating isn't one of them.