Skip to comments.Why Verbal Tee-Ups Like 'To Be Honest' Often Signal Insincerity
Posted on 01/22/2014 9:16:54 AM PST by don-o
A friend of mine recently started a conversation with these words: "Don't take this the wrong way "
I wish I could tell you what she said next. But I wasn't listeningmy brain had stalled. I was bracing for the sentence that would follow that phrase, which experience has taught me probably wouldn't be good.
Certain phrases just seem to creep into our daily speech. We hear them a few times and suddenly we find ourselves using them. We like the way they sound, and we may find they are useful. They may make it easier to say something difficult or buy us a few extra seconds to collect our next thought.
Yet for the listener, these phrases are confusing. They make it fairly impossible to understand, or even accurately hear, what the speaker is trying to say.
Consider: "I want you to know " or "I'm just saying " or "I hate to be the one to tell you this " Often, these phrases imply the opposite of what the words mean, as with the phrase, "I'm not saying " as in "I'm not saying we have to stop seeing each other, but "
Take this sentence: "I want to say that your new haircut looks fabulous." In one sense, it's true: The speaker does wish to tell you that your hair looks great. But does he or she really think it is so or just want to say it? It's unclear.
Language experts have textbook names for these phrases"performatives," or "qualifiers." Essentially, taken alone, they express a simple thought, such as "I am writing to say
" At first, they seem harmless, formal, maybe even polite. But coming before another statement, they often signal that bad news, or even some dishonesty on the part of the speaker, will follow.
(Excerpt) Read more at m.us.wsj.com ...
“I mean ...”
[I mean, that drives me up the wall!]
I would welcome these nuanced phrases from those around me, here at work. Agreed, that most in the article contain a thought that negates or makes unclear the thought after it (I want to say that your hair is nice), rather than just saying: your hair is nice.
However, all I hear at work is: “I’m all about getting it done”.. or “and I’m like, hey what are you doing, and he’s like, I’m cleaning the car, and then I’m like, but we have to go”...etc...
I would welcome a change...any change.
Let me be perfectly clear.......usually proceeds another 0bama lie.
“With all due respect ....”
I think this article also underscores just how difficult communication is. Communication is often complicated by the language we share but the history we don’t share.
Bless his heart. God love him. Ouch
The thoughts in this article are certainly pertinent but are one sided. When I tee-up a topic I am giving the person a chance to prepare to hear something I know they won’t like so they won’t react defensively without thinking. It acknowledges their feelings and their position from the get go and allows me to law out a counter-position with less confrontation. It also, in a different sort of conversation, expresses my remorse for being on the other side of an argument where the person is apparently expecting me to agree. Not remorse for what I believe but remorse that I am stepping apart by declaring my belief.
"It seems like you can say almost anything you want to the generals as long as you say 'With all due respect' first." (A paraphrased quote from a junior officer who had been in a meeting including senior officers)
To be perfectly honest, and don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t know any other way to say it ... I think you should post the non-mobile formatted version of this article.
Usually, everything that follows “clearly” is bullshit.....
"Most people think..."
"Hi. I'm (Bill/Hillary) Clinton..."
"While I don't disagree..."
"With all due respect..."
All directly precede a big lie.
Especially if spoken by Bob Beckel.
"Make no mistake" is another one.
"To be honest" means everything I said up to this point was a lie.
Elizabeth: Don’t take this wrong, but I disagree.
(Elizabeth: If you take that correctly, you’ll understand that I merely have a different opinion than you. If you take it wrong, you may see it as a personal attack on your cognitive ability.)
“I’m not gonna lie...”
My pet peeve: “I don’t mean to interrupt, but ....” Yes, you do mean to interrupt or you wouldn’t be interrupting. “Sorry to interrupt” is the thing to say.
A bit of wisdom: If you start a sentence with the phrase ‘I really shouldn’t say this’, stop immediately and follow your own advice.
“I hear what you’re saying but....”
(One of my favorites)
” we can all agree...”
“some would say”... Katie Couric and Matt Lauer
I don’t thing there was any insecurity in these verbal tee-ups:
Mat_11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Mar_4:9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mar_4:23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Luk_8:8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Luk_14:35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
When I tee-up a topic I am giving the person a chance to prepare to hear something I know they wont like so they wont react defensively without thinking.
“That’s a great question!”
Means that the speaker is fomulating a confusing answer that appears to address the question but will, in post analyssis, reveal that he don’t know WTF he is talking about.
I'm just sayin'... ;-)
> Thats a great question!
> Means that the speaker is fomulating a confusing answer that appears to address the question but will, in post analyssis, reveal that he dont know WTF he is talking about.
Not all the time; sometimes, like during a presentation, the question that was asked is the next step/portion of the talk and “that’s a great question” means that both people understand what’s being discussed.
“put on your thinking cap” implies that, up to now, the person was just babbling inanely. That’s insulting. How about something like “here’s something to consider...” ?
A classic. Twenty years ago I hired a contractor to build me a room. EVERY time he said, "I'm going to tell you the truth...", he lied.
Let me say this about that. It looks fine to me.
Agreed, unless you are in the political arena. Then it is pure-d obsfuscation.
” It should be obvious to anyone that.......” (Or)
“ Anyone with half a brains knows......”
To be honest with you, i cannot say if communication gets easier the longer you know somebody. Take that anyway you wish.
I dated a woman back in the late 80s who loved to say, “we need to talk.” I always got a chill, thinking the subject was going to be a dead rabbit, but it was just her b!tching about some minor thing that I’d done. I learned to hate the phrase for that reason, too.
Jim Hacker: "Dont use that filthy language to me, Humphrey. I know what with respect means in your jargon. It means you're about to suggest anything I suggest is beneath contempt." -- Yes, Minister
I’m not lying, it can be difficult.
Then there’s, “Honest to God”
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