I find it puzzling when I give a scientific presentation and when I reference some author, someone in the audience asks a question prefaced by “I know that author very well.”
Should I be thinking: “Oh! You know them? I guess I’ll actually pay attention to you now!”
Or maybe: “Normally I would have assumed that you were unqualified to ask me a question, but obviously I misjudged you. If you slip me a copy of your resume after the talk I’ll check whether you are fit to eat lunch with me.”
I’m being facetious here. It’s probably just their way of showing that they really care about the question that they are about to ask.