How can we explain the use of this "something" thing? I understand it, and I might even use it, but I'm having trouble putting my finger on what it conveys. I've provided two examples below:
Ivan: How's it going Dan?
Dan: Not bad. Super busy these days with this whole tea thing.
Ivan: What is "this whole tea thing?"
Dan: The tea company I bought into. You know about that.
Ivan: Yeah, but why not just say "tea company?"
Dan: I dunno.
Ivan: The weekend sure was fun.
Dave: Definitely. I didn't think I was into this ziplining thing, but I had a great time.
Ivan: What do you mean "this ziplining thing?"
Dave: I just mean ziplining.
Ivan: Why not just say "ziplining?"
Dave: I dunno.