I often qualify my answers to questions. It helps the questioner, I think, but also covers me to a degree.

One of the qualified answers I use most often is ‘not to my knowledge.’

If I’m asked something and I definitively know the answer, I’ll give my answer, pure and unadorned.

If I’m not definitively sure the answer to what I’m being asked is, I’ll append it with a ‘to my knowledge’. I realise this is somewhat redundant. After all, if I don;t mention them, who else’s knowledge were you expecting me to draw on?

My point when I answer this way, and the point I make now, is that in some cases you won’t have perfect knowledge, or it would take you too much time or effort to make it worth acquiring.

In this instance you go with what you know, and you move on.

Interestingly, one unintended output of constructing this post is realising that I hardly ever say ‘yes, to my knowledge.’ It’s almost always used with the negative response. Is this significant? Yes, possibly. Is it worth extending this post to explore why? No, not to my…anyway, you get the picture I think.

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