When you have nothing to say, say nothing! Easy to say, but whoever said it was not a blogger. I mean, if I started remaining silent only because I have nothing to say, pretty soon this blog would be full of cobwebs and dust with no-one offering to mop and clean the place and make it habitable. It is good then that when I have nothing to say, I can say a lot about 'nothing'.
I do not know how much I make people laugh when I write but I sure made a lot of people laugh for no reason I could discern. There was this friend of mine who would suddenly start chuckling when the two of us were tete-a-tete. If I asked him "What makes you laugh?", he would reply, "Nothing" and continue chuckling. Inevitably, this response sets me to check to see whether my fly was open OR if there was a smut on my nose OR if there was food sticking on my teeth OR...well, you get the picture. That is one 'Nothing' which starts you doubting everything. These chaps, apparently, do not want to tell you why they were laughing since the reason could offend you - and anything more offensive than someone laughing at you (well - if he says "Nothing", it is always assumed that he is laughing at you) and refusing to give a reason, I have not come across, even if the idiot did not keep cackling at discrete intervals after the event.
And, then there is the man, suffused with anxiety, and who replies, "Nothing" when you ask him what was worrying him. Of course, it is MUCH more than nothing - he would hardly want to avoid talking about it, if it were only a matter of having spilled some milk on the dining table, unless his wife were suing for divorce on that account.
Ever heard an angry man scream, "NOTHING" when asked what was making him so angry? Does it seem like it is a piddly little thing OR does it seem like he would reduce YOU to nothing if you persisted in badgering him?
It is one of the mysteries of life, for me, how people will develop words for one purpose and, then, use it when they mean exactly the opposite. Must create one hell of a problem of communication if we ever encounter an alien species. If you get really furious and say, "Nothing" to queries about what was making you furious, they may end up saying, "All Right, then" and go on blithely, thereby causing an inter-galactic incident.
Closer home, though, there are problems enough. All these "Nothing"s are normally the problem of the male of the species which has been conditioned to suppress its emotions. Comes to the more expressive distaff side, a question about what was worrying them would invoke a detailed response.
AND what does the male of the species do?
"You should not have said that, then."
"I think you are reading too much into the situation"
"Why did you not tackle it this way?"
"You should act like this in future"
Instead of assuming that the lady was assuming you to be the Oracle of Delphi, if you could only listen and say nothing, that would suffice.
BUT then we are trained to say, "Nothing" but not to say nothing, if you know what I mean! AND, thanks to that, there is much ado about your not just saying nothing!