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A Quick Disclaimer About The Examples Used In The Site

Many of the articles on this site, especially the ones on making conversation have examples in them. People generally appreciate examples and feel they're helpful. Though one general disclaimer I'll make about example conversation snippets is that they sometimes read as a bit unrealistic, like no one would ever actually talk like that. They can read as too wordy and stilted, or too casual and familiar, or the language and slang can seem corny and way off. I know I often have this reaction when I read examples in other sources.

If they don't know about this phenomenon it can sometimes cause people to dismiss a source's advice on the topic, because they conclude, "Well they obviously don't know anything about social skills. They can't even write a convincing example." It's not that the example itself is flawed. When the author wrote it it probably sounded perfectly good in their head. They may have had success wording a sentence in that exact way, or seen someone else do it. The people they know may all speak in the style they used. It's more that when the text is read and interpreted by someone else they can put an unnatural sounding spin on it with their own minds.

So basically, focus more on the overall idea the example is trying to get across. Don't worry if it doesn't seem like something you'd ever want to repeat word for word. After all, that's what an example is, one possible demonstration of how you could say something. It's not a rule that insists you must phrase your own conversations in that way, and that way only.

Another seeming limitation of examples is that sometimes they don't seem to fit your exact situation and the types of interactions you have. They can all seem like they're written for a different type of person, who's talking to different types of conversational partners, in different environments. Like someone may read a bunch of examples and think, "Well these are all about what to do at college parties or in an office. What about when you're on a high school sports team?" Again, it's important to look for the broader concepts and not focus on whether something is worded in a way that's a perfect fit for your own circumstances.