The “I Think” Statement

My dad knows a lot about a lot of things, but I have always been the science nerd of our family.  This means that I was the one asked anytime someone had a science-related question.  This was especially true with my mom.

Starting in late elementary or early junior high, if my mom asked me a question I wasn’t sure about, I’d start with something I knew and extrapolate the rest of the answer.  Ok, so it wasn’t extrapolating, it was more like a mildly educated guess.  (Sometimes more educated than others.)  And she’d believe me.

At some point at the end of one of these fictitious answers, I mentioned that I didn’t really know, I just made it up.  After a brief talk in which the frequency of this behavior was discussed, my mom asked how she’d be able tell if I actually knew what I was talking about or I was just guessing.  I can’t remember whose idea it was, but we settled on the phrase, “I think.”  I was to add this to the end of the sentence whenever I didn’t really know but had an educated guess on the answer.

Now, as an adult, I know better than to simply make up the answer.  “I don’t know” is an acceptable response in my line of work, and I use it without fear.  However, in my family, the “I think” phrase persists.  In fact, if someone questions the validity of an answer, we have a typical response: “Is that an ‘I think’ statement?”


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bird
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 22:26:49

    I totally did this myself. How cool!! Sadly, I also had to stop as an adult because the chances of running into someone who actually knew the real answers went up… 😦


  2. YerMom
    Apr 23, 2012 @ 08:30:00

    Thanks for this post. It made me smile.


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