Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Hear v. Listen

Lights are on, but no one is listening
Have you ever been talking to someone and then you ask them a question they say, "Huh?"  Makes you wonder if they were even listening.  So, what's the difference between hearing and listening?  Is there a difference?

According to a BBC recording I listened to, the moderator noted that: We use hear for sounds that come to our ears, without us necessarily trying to hear them! For example, 'They heard a strange noise in the middle of the night.  

Listen is used to describe paying attention to sounds that are going on. For example, 'Last night, I listened to my new Mariah Carey CD.'

So, you can hear something without wanting to, but you can only listen to something intentionally. An imaginary conversation between a couple might go:  'Did you hear what I just said?'  'No, sorry, darling, I wasn't listening.'

Of course, this brings to my attention a conversation I had with an attorney who I was talking to the other day.  Seems he had a case that was giving him quite a bit of trouble and, being a local law librarian, asked me if I had any suggestions no where to start looking.

I started in with some basics like statutes and cases and he'd respond with a "hmmmm" or an "uh huh?"  Then I started talking about some of my favorite resources like AmJur Proof of Facts, AmJur Trials, and Causes of Action.  

I noticed that attorney was drifting off and pointedly asked him, "hey, are you even listening?!"  To which he replied, "Oh, I'm sorry, I wasn't listening - what did you say?!"...effectively ending the conversation.  I mean, you want to know where to go and what to use to make money but you don't even pay attention to what is being said?!??!

If I wanted to be ignored, I'd talk to a bunch of paralegal students.

Anyway, I guess the upshot of all this is:  If you want to receive information, be prepared to take notes.  Otherwise, go look it up yourself.

I'm just sayin.

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