“We’re leaving now.” Laurence’s mother touched his arm.
“Great,” Laurence said. “I’m ready.”
But they meant a noninclusive “we.” Not for the first time, Laurence thought this was one of the annoyingly incommunicative features in the English language. Much like the inability to distinguish between “x-or” and “and/or,” the lack of delineation between “x-we” and “in-we” was a conspiracy of obfuscation, designed to create awkwardness and exacerbate peer pressure—because people tried to include you in their “we” without your consent, or you thought you were included and then the rug got pulled out from under you. Laurence dwelled on this linguistic injustice as he watched his parents walk back to their car, across the crunchy parking lot, without him.