One of the things about studying philosophy is that it dramatically alters the way you listen to people talk. If you’re doing it right, the kind of
little words and phrases that most people would scan over without consciously noticing them suddenly become show-stoppers. For example, one of the things I usually hone in on in any conversation are the little emphatic words —
understandably, and so on — that mark out what the speaker is dialectically positioning as certain or obvious or needing no explanation. Logically, it’s important for structuring arguments. In a broader sense, you want to think about what sort of thought, and what sort of lived experience, is being confessed when a speaker marks out what they take as the given, the immediately comprehensible, the commonplace, the sure ground on which they stand.
For example, there’s something fascinating about the kind of life you glimpse when Woody Harrelson says,
With my daughter at the airport I was startled by a paparazzo, who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie.