I really like that word, ''dude", it fits so perfectly in so many situations. It'll commiserate, express excitement, joy, defeat, be a greeting, and it is also the most non-committal "safe" word out there.
When first married I told my hubby that if he didn't agree with me about something, maybe he might be thinking I'm completely off my rocker - and he really just wanted to "fix" whatever problem I was having but I just needed him to listen he could safely say "Um, yeah." But "dude" is going to be my new replacement statement.
"So, I just feel like it's all a big conspiracy man, and don't lick the stamps, OK? Because it's the Man's way of controlling population and I really care about you."
And what's more, "dude" if executed properly, can be left to be interpreted by the dude recipient to reflect any emotion or sentiment they need. Nice.
So when you don't know what to say - just say "dude". For me it is the verbal equivalent of Duck Tape.