Friday, September 4, 2015


There are those who would argue that a certain four-letter profanity is the most versatile word in the English language. I disagree.

I think the language's most versatile word is "indeed." One can answer any question with it; one can use it as a question. It is as malleable under the speaker's inflection as clay is under the potter's hand.

It just fits or can be fitted into any conversation. Gather, and surmise:

SPEAKER 1: You're an idiot.
SPEAKER 2: Indeed?

The responding speaker could put emphasis on the "--deed" to sound indignant. He could respond with sincere sadness, asking, in effect: "You think so?"

SPEAKER 1: I have a headache.
SPEAKER 2: Indeed?

"Speaker 2" could be sincerely interested or exasperated with his hypochondriac friend, depending on inflection.

You get the picture. Try it yourself. It's like I just handed you verbal Play Doh.

SPEAKER 1: Thanks, Chris.
CHRIS: Indeed.

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