weigh in/chime in

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Hi,
Suppose there's an online roundtable talk show featuring guests all over the world discussing current events through live webcams. During the discussion, one of the participants is pretty quiet. If the host wants to encourage him to talk, which of the following is better:

Participant A, would you like to weigh in?
Participant A, would you like to chime in?

I guess either is correct, but wonder if one is better than the other in this kind of context.
 
  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "to weigh in" comes from sporting terminology, for example boxers are required to weigh in before a fight. I think that this association would make the expression sound too aggressive for a quiet or shy person.

    "to chime in" sometimes has the implication of interruption in my mind. I don't know if it does for others but I would therefore avoid it in this circumstance.


    Personally I would simply say Participant A, would you like to join in? or Participant A, would you like to give your opinion?

    Another possibility is "Participant A, would you like to chip in?" For me "to chip in" has a more neutral feeling than the ones you suggest.
     

    djmc

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    I would normally say "Mr Bloggs <substitute the name with title>, would you like to say anything".

    Weigh in is used as in: "We were arguing about the value of higher education and John weighed in and claimed that it had no value whatsoever". It means argue forcibly.

    Chimed in is used as in: "Elisabeth said that she didn't want to go sailing. Susan chimed in and said 'Yes I don't either and besides the weather forecast predicts gales in the region' ". In normally means speak in agreement.

    Both seem to be more commonly used in the past.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    :thumbsup: I'd probably just ask something very neutral like What do you say, Marcus Spoonfeather?*

    *In the weird way TV hosts/interviewers have of addressing people by their full names:mad:
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks for your suggestions ,Biffo, djmc, and ewie. Does "chip in" emphasize "contribution"? I thought of "chip in" before opening this thread, but I wasn't sure if it was a nice way for the host to draw out a quiet participant. It sounded like the host was putting pressure on him to add something of substance to the discussion. But it turns out to be pure invention on my part. :D
     
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    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    :thumbsup: I'd probably just ask something very neutral like What do you say, Marcus Spoonfeather?
    I can imagine this direct request being threatening to a very shy person. I would prefer to ask if they wish to participate.

    I quite like djmc's "Mr Bloggs..., would you like to say anything".
     
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    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks. It's all about how to draw out a quiet participant and avoid putting him on the spot
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thanks. It's all about how to draw out a quiet participant and avoid putting him on the spot
    Another idea.

    "Do you have any thoughts on this?"

    This gives him the opportunity to say no, to say yes or hesitate - in which last two cases he can then be encouraged to express those thoughts.
     
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    Jim2996

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'll chime in.

    Another method for the moderator is to factually state his intention, with the obvious implication.

    "I'd like to hear from everyone (equally) ... Mr. Quietmouth ... What do you think. (This has to be said with respect and consideration) ... Surely you must have some ideas ... We would enjoy hearing them.

    "We want to get everyone's opinions/experiences...."

    "Let's give everyone a chance to speak. ..."

    There can be a big difference between closed-ended questions and open-ended questions.
    If you ask "Do you have any thoughts on this," shy people often just respond "Yes."
    It's far better to ask "What are your thoughts on this."

    There is also the option to switch to a different representation system:
    "How do you see things?"
    "How do you feel about this?"
    "What can you say about this?"

    "Does this ring a bell for you; would you like to chime in?" is not how most people process information most of the time.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ...
    "Does this ring a bell for you; would you like to chime in?" is not how most people process information most of the time.
    Unless their primary modality is auditory of course. But that's getting off the topic and into neurolinguistic territory.
     

    Jim2996

    Senior Member
    American English
    I forgot. There is the magic word Please.

    Mr. Quietmouth, please tell us your thoughts.
    Mr. Quitemouth, please, I'd like to hear what you think.
     
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