Before you read this, I just want to make sure that you don't take me seriously at all, even though I'm going to the trouble of putting it out for public display, and, though I'm afraid it'll cause quite a stir, I don't want to be held responsible for any fallout it may cause - especially if it means I'm going to have to give you the courtesy of listening to your opinion after you've heard mine - so I'm just going to say that this is just my opinion. That's all, just my opinion

Has the world gone so stagnant that it must be told when a thing is a fact and when another thing is an opinion? Have we grown so callous that, upon reading an opinion, we will simply hurl curt putdowns at its originator? Or have we just grown to scared that we will get mocked, that we will be proven to be less then an expert (and be gasp corrected), or to simply be publicly disagreed with? Why do we feel the need to put disclaimers on our opinions before letting the public make of them what it will?

It's the easiest way to cop out - like people will think that the opinion was like that when you found it, and you are therefore not at fault for it if they don't like it. "Gee, I wish I could explain to this person why I disagree with her, but she put that darned IMHO at the end of her comment, so she's completely exempt from actually talking about what she says, or being judged based on it." shrug

I don't get it. This sounds dramatic, but why try if you can't even respect your own ideas? What do you have going for you, why do you get out of bed, if you're just going to shoot your thoughts in the back of the head when they try to get away?

This is me, world, Michael Paull. I'm about six foot nothing, one sixty, long brown hair, green eyes. After that you get to know me by my opinions, and lucky for you, I like to share them. If you want to get to know me better, you have to be my mother or my lover, and both jobs are taken. So you're on your honor to do with what you get what you like. In the words of one old sea do, I is what I is, and, though I'm not entirely excited about it all the time, I'm damned well going to stand up when I get my chance and yell it at the spiders in the rafters.

My opinion is never 'just my opinion' like a volcano is never 'just a little warm puddle.' I put thought into them, and my thoughts (okay, our thoughts) are what make us different - they're what make us amazing. You consider trees, how amazing it is that they work, that they grow. Now think about Socrates, Kant, Einstein, yourself. Amazing.

Do you think Albert Einstein ever said to his cronies huddled around a chalkboard arguing about astrophysics, "Well, that's just my opinion."

When you say that, you speak volumes, whether you want to or not. You say, "I've said this poorly and I'm going to irk a lot of you without provocation." You say, "I actually don't know anything about the subject, and make up opinions based on how the wind blows." You say, "I'm really unsure of myself, and I'm terrified that none of you will like me for what I have to say." Whether all this is true or not, we don't know. But we see it, clearly at the beginning or end of your rant, your expression, your viewpoint, your essay.

Don't do that to yourself. If you think your opinions are 'just your opinions,' ignorant, useless, not deserving of response or even notice, then either work towards more thought out, more researched opinions, or save us the time it takes to wade through them. Otherwise, let your words do what they're meant to - get your point across.<\p>

After all, we are all fundamentally smart enough to recognize when something is your opinion. And we will do with it what we like - ignore it, think about it, or maybe even gasp disagree!

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