Two words, spoken by my internal examiner, as we approached the end of my viva.
Two words that came after he had summarised my final chapter.
Two words that followed a summary of “In Chapter 7 you detail your failure at solving a problem.”
Two words that seemed as if they were followed by a yawning void of time as I tried to understand what he meant.
Two words that I realised were not, in fact, a question.
Two words that were a simple comment, an observation.
Two words that I responded to by saying why I had felt it important to include preliminary results, why it still might help someone.
Two words from him, two minutes of talking from me and then a simple response of “OK” afterwards.
Two words or two sentences or two minutes of talking from either of your two examiners could make your heart skip a beat as you wonder what was meant and ponder what to say.
Take a breath, think, try to understand. What do they mean? Then respond.
Sometimes a simple comment is simply a comment: you don’t need to say much in response at all.