The following is an excerpt from an actual conversation.
“We need to do this, right now!”
“I already did it,” I said.
“You did? When?”
“About an hour ago. I told you.”
“Was I listening?”
Our eyes were locked. She didn’t look like her thoughts were elsewhere (usually I can tell if someone is in front of me in body only). I spoke English, which is both our first language.
And yet, she didn’t hear the actual words. She only heard:
Perhaps next time, I’ll try this:
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?