In the past few years, the phrase "yeah . . . no" has become a bulwark of conversation-- SlateRadio concludes that the phrase creates "conversational harmony," and to that I say "yeah . . . no" as I see it as more of an insulator, an opening parenthesis that keeps a statement from being too definitive (not that this is a bad thing, life is complicated and it's often hard to give a straightforward "yes" or "no") and I also think we're adept at ending statements with some insulation, a closing parenthesis . . . such as: but that's only my opinion or it's complicated or but hey, what the fuck do I know?