I saw a comment on YouTube under the inaugural SFL Live event, asking that people please stop ending non-question sentences with the tone of a question and noting that it makes it harder to take people seriously when they do not appear confident. I heartily second that sentiment.

It’s not just the tone, though. There are a lot of you know?s, right?s, okay?s, I guesses, I don’t knows, and other little things thrown in that may seem more comfortable to the speaker than pauses feel as a way of filling space while they are considering a question or formulating their words. In fact, though, this serves to soften, diminish, make passive, minimize, and draw credibility away from the speakers’ points in the eyes and ears of much of their audiences.

You know? Right? Okay? You are telling me you need my approval before your idea is valid. And if you are just guessing or you don’t know, then I’m not making good use of my time listening to you on your chosen topic. This is detrimental to your credibility in putting forth your ideas—OUR ideas—the ideas of liberty.

Taylor Mali addressed this in his poem Totally like whatever, you know?, which conveys an important message that liberty advocates should take to heart and practice. It is so much better as a spoken piece than written, so I share it with you via this video:

Bottom line from Mali:

Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You gotta speak with it, too.

(Also, it would help if we all left our tri-corner hats at home. I implore you.)