Minnesota Musing: Really - The Word that Captures the Mood
Really?! Usually said in a questioning tone, with an air of excitement. Usually heard when someone tells you that you have won a gift card for a hundred dollars, or your name has been drawn for some promotion that you have to go to and claim.
Really. Said in a flat tone, in a serious manner. Used to express shock and disbelief that someone or something could fail.
Really?? Usually said with a shaking of the head left and right. An extra variation is to shake the head right and left while moving the head backwards. A reaction to hearing news that you do not want to hear. A one step forward, two steps back kind of moment. A no win for everyone involved.
The word really is used to express the mood of what else could go wrong. Sometimes, the feeling of nervous anticipation and the shock of hearing bad news and the general giving up feeling.
I Cannot Believe It
Sometimes, the good fortune and luck happening is so unreal and so unbelievable that the word really expresses the sentiment of the person uttering it, due to the mood at the time. Sort of a are you sure, I mean, really sure? moment.