This was a long lesson, so let’s do an easy expression. That is “time will tell.” This is a complete sentence. “Time will tell.” And you say that when you’re not sure what will happen in the future. But, something will be revealed in time. We will know the answer in the future, but we don’t know it now. Time will tell.
At the very end of today’s discussion about Amazon’s shiny new toy—a $4 billion company called One Medical —I speculated on what Amazon might do with the company. Some patients are worried that Amazon will find a way to raid their data and use their private doctor visits to sell them more things on Amazon.com. I’m not that cynical.
I think Amazon is making a push into services. They’ve pretty much conquered online retail, at least in the U.S. Why not bring a little of the Amazon magic into health services? It’s a huge market that could use some innovation.
So who will be right? Will we find creepy ads on our smart speakers, curiously related to our recent doctor visit? Or will Amazon find a way to use its scale to bring a good patient experience to more people? What will happen? I don’t know; time will tell.
Time will tell: the answer will be revealed in time.
We often use this expression with things that are out of our personal control. It seems that people have gone back to their old pre-COVID shopping and travel habits. People are even taking cruises again! But there’s one place Americans haven’t gone back to, and that’s the office, at least not in big cities.
Will office workers in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and other cities go back into downtown offices like they once did? Time will tell.
You can also say, “Only time will tell.” If you say this, you mean, “It’s impossible to predict.” You might remember from Lesson 247 that oil was discovered off the coast of the small South American country of Guyana . And I wondered if Guyana would use that oil wealth to become like Norway or like Venezuela. Both are rich in energy. Norway has managed it well and shares the proceeds with its citizens. Venezuela did…the opposite. So will Guyana use the wealth from its offshore oil to provide for its future? Or waste it on cronyism and corruption, a la Venezuela? It's impossible to say. Only time will tell.
Quote of the Week
It’s Monday, so we have a quote of the week for you. It’s by the management guru Stephen Covey. He wrote an absurdly famous book called "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Personally, I couldn’t get through it. I thought it was mostly fluff. But that’s just me; the book has sold 20 million copies.
Anyway, he does make an interesting point about communication. He says, “The biggest communication problem is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply.” And I think that’s very true. So often when people listen, they’re not thinking deeply about what’s being said; they’re thinking only of how to reply, what to say next. But if you determine a reply before the other person has finished a thought, then you’re not going to communicate well.
You have my permission to skip the book, but do think about this quote from Stephen Covey: “The biggest communication problem is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply.”
See you next time!
You all don’t fall into that trap here because there’s no easy way to reply to a podcast or a lesson like this. Until now! When you go to PlainEnglish.com/500PlainEnglish.com/500. Click the button that says “Record a video.” Then, just follow the prompts. It’s three questions, and your video answers to the three questions will go into the final product. JR is standing by ready to review, edit, and compile your responses so we can be ready before lesson 500.
Look, this is already 494! If you haven’t been part of the video yet, just go to PlainEnglish.com/500. It will all be clear. Follow the steps, record yourself, and press submit. It really is so easy, and it would help us celebrate a huge milestone. I can’t wait to see all your smiling faces on video! So check it out now; you can do it from your phone. PlainEnglish.com/500.
See you Thursday for number 495.