If you want to feel smarter than someone else, try this little trick.
Challenge the other person to create a file on the filesystem by sending the shell only 3 characters.
Answer? super simple:
now if you do an 'ls' you can see the empty file 'a' was created in the current directory. This is a short way to create an empty file on the local system. Basically what is happening is you are redirecting nothing into a file, since that file didn't exist previously, it created it. Hence, creating an empty file.
Now you can reserve 'touch' for more fancy trickery (timestomping)