Friday, April 01, 2005

I already knew that...

This is an etc. blog, with only a slight genealogy connection. A few days ago a friend sent me a a tip that the Sanborn maps are available electronically at our University Library. She prefaced it by saying "You probably already knew this..." (I didn't) and today at coffee mentioned that she almost didn't send me the information, since I probably already knew it.

I've been noticing lately, with some irritation, how quick people are to inform the bearer of any information "Yes, I knew that." Now why would you announce that? Is it to be sure everyone knows how much you know? Is it to chide the person for wasting your time by saying what you already knew? Is it to cut the conversation off, then and there? I can't think of one gracious reason for making such a statement.

When I said it was only slightly genealogy related, the connection was not the Sanborn maps. It is that often at the LDS library, where I volunteer, or at conferences or in discussions, people say things that I -- and a lot of other people who have been doing genealogy a long time-- already know. This is especially so when talking to someone who is new at research and just learning these amazing and varied bits of information that make research so challanging. In my opinion, it behooves us all to refrain from announcing that we already knew that and rather encourage the discussion and passing of information necessary to enable people to become proficient users.

You probably all already knew that.

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