English Grammar: Use of Conditional Expressions

Here’s an example of a ‘conditional (hypothetical) expression:

“If I were to ‘feel’ judged by something said that was a general observation/comment that was not personally directed to, or specifically about me by name, “I have a problem”.

To those who have been schooled in the use of the English language, the above is known as a hypothetical, or conditional statement/expression. One purpose of such expressions is to facilitate objective and profitable dialogue. An additional benefit of using ‘hypothetials’ is to try and prevent discussion participants from ‘feeling bad’ because they think they have been personally accused of something or are being judged.

The statement at the top of this post was made in response to a comment implying that it was rude to say something that might cause another person to ‘feel’ judged, even if that something was not directed toward a specific individual. The “IF I” hypothetical was intentionally inserted to express exactly how I would feel about myself under a certain ‘condition’. so that there would be no possibility of my having been judgmental of anyone other than me.

Sad to say, my use of the ‘conditional’ was not received well. Either it was not understood, or the intended receiver of my comment thought I was being intentionally sarcastic. Perhaps both. Anyway, I see only a few options from this point in time

1. Continue trying to explain the use of ‘conditional’ expressions.

2. Express myself using monosyllabic words/terms that are more easily understood. (Kind of a ‘read my lips’ thing. Whoops….do I smell real sarcasm?)

3. Refrain from saying anything that could even remotely result in someone ‘feeling’ judged.

4. Shake the dust off my shoes and move on down the road.

Any suggestions out there?

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