Wednesday, November 9

Phrases That Should Never Cross Your Lips

  • I don't mean to toot my own horn, but.... Have you ever heard this phrase when it wasn't a lie? Similar to another obnoxious phrase, "I don't mean to brag...."
  • No offense, but.... The problem with this phrase is that it's almost always followed by something that means "You're fat!", or "You're dumb!", or "That roast would have been much better if you'd cooked it for 7 hours less." No one ever says, "No offense, but that supper was the tastiest I've had in years!"
  • Don't take this the wrong way. If you need to use this phrase, there's only one way for anyone to take what you're about to say--and that's the wrong way.
  • I'm saying this in Christian love. Carla adds this one for us, and says sometimes it's used when "what's being said seems about as love-motivated as a baseball bat to the forehead." She has a way with words, doesn't she?
  • I'm sorry, but.... Kim from ON says, "If you're saying sorry, say sorry. Adding the 'but' may mean you're not really sorry." I agree. The "but" is usually followed by an excuse of some sort or another, and what's really been said is "I'm sorry, but it wasn't my fault."
  • I just thought you should know. Kim from IL adds this lovely one, which can sometimes be used to introduce some helpful tidbit of information, but often is followed "by the person sharing something that even if you HAD known you couldn't've done anything about it, and even knowing it now, there is no way you can 'fix' it."
  • But I believe that.... Shaun says he hears this one is used by pastors when "But God says that" would be better. Yep, that the pastor believes it doesn't really settle things, does it? That God said it ought to.
  • With all due respect.... Honest Brian in Fresno admits to using this one when he's really meant just the opposite. It's often used that way--when it really means, "I don't consider you to be due much respect"--isn't it?
  • Don't take this personally, but.... The other Rebecca adds this phrase. "This is almost invariably followed by something that is impossible not to take personally, as in, 'Don't take this personally, but I think all bloggers are foolish time wasters and have huge ego problems.'"
  • Don't take this for evil. From Rebecca, too, who tells us this is a German phrase, which her family likes to use for comic relief. They always , she says, follow it with "the most horrendous insult." All in fun, of course.
  • I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but... Rebecca's addition again. You've heard this one, haven't you, and the person who says it is usually trying to tell you exactly what you should do.
  • I don't mean to be rude, but.... Rebecca, too. (You can tell her family specializes in these!) She tells a little story about this one:
    I was visiting a friend of mine and her young daughter was eager for me to leave so the family could go out for pizza. She said, in an effort to hasten my departure, "I don't mean to be rude, but---" only to have her mother interject, "Then don't say it!"

    The little girl repeated, "I don't mean to be rude, but when are you ever going to leave?"

    Her mother and I both burst into laughter, and we said, "Well, for someone who didn't mean to be rude, you sure were!" Even she saw the humor in what she had said and decided this phrase simply didn't make sense.
  • Now I ( insert suitable word: love, respect, have a lot of regard for...) ( insert name: my pastor, my mother-in-law, my husband...) but.... This is one that causes Violet's antennae to go up, especially when the relationship between the speaker and the person being talked about is a close and trusting one. It's a little disloyal, isn't it?

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