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#301699 - 01/27/08 02:13 AM Strange Expressions
Max Faust Offline
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Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 419
Loc: Ultima Thule
There was a post about how certain words might trigger an emotional response in you. But what about a whole expression?

I find for instance that if somebody starts a sentence with "to be honest,..." it will immidiately raise the question if that is something unusual, i.e. if the rest of what they have said was just bullshit.

Or if somebody states "don't think that I am stupid" I am pretty much forced to consider that possibility, which I wasn't up until that was being said (if I thought he or she was stupid, I wouldn't be talking to them at all).

Then there is of course the classic "don't get upset now, but..." which, like clockwork, is something that will regularely be stated by my employees when they have committed some boo-boo - and, also like clockwork, it means that I WILL get upset, so that statement will always have me focusing on damage control more than the actual story itself.

If you have children, you know that the statement "I didn't do it" really means "I did it" and "it wasn't me" should be interpreted as "it was me". Because of this it is always better to ask "well what happened?" than "well who was it then?" if you want to find out what went down. (In interrogations, you want to delay the confrontation until you have extracted the information.)

There is a lesson of "lesser magic" in there somewhere. Minding your mouth is of course a wise thing. But most people aren't wise like that. They have been trained to behave in a certain way by their upbringing and environment. Paying close attention to what words and expressions people choose to represent themselves with can tell a whole story about their personal history.

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#301705 - 01/27/08 03:30 AM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Max Faust]
Seeker Of Wisdom Offline


Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 76
Loc: Buckholts, Tx
I like what you've written because unlike some of the things I've read, I understand what you're trying to say. I find that when people are telling me "stories" there is always an element of foreshadowing thrown in as an opener or close to the beginning.
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#301707 - 01/27/08 03:44 AM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Max Faust]
Auen74 Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 09/08/07
Posts: 103
Loc: Pennsylvania
I enjoy talking to people that begin their stories with phrases like: "This is really stupid, BUT...", "This is going to piss you off...", etc. I've only met a few people that do this but at least they're honest enough to tell you how it is. The emotional responses from myself are then positive, even when being told something that does piss me off. Honesty gets a much better reception than the way most people tend to use the phrases you pointed out Max. Very good post, sir.

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#301716 - 01/27/08 05:29 AM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Max Faust]
TheNaturalForce Offline
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Registered: 02/28/07
Posts: 511
Loc: The Vibrant Garden
I agree. Words play an important part in any exchange. I personally tend to have fun with the English language and toss my expressions around and mix up my styles. I think the thought that you can really tell a lot about a person by the way they express themselves is true for the most part.

Most people have a stagnant program that never seems to improve or change, in those types there are a plethora of levers and switches you can tinker with and you can play those mindless drones like puppets. Their word choices, tone of voice, eye and mouth expressions and attitude are great indicators.

This of course is only one faucet. There is so much more to learn about communication, how it works and how it can be used.
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#301731 - 01/27/08 09:22 AM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Max Faust]
shadowraven213 Offline


Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 541
I can tell you've thought about this, your quite good at it.

I wish you a good day too.

;\)
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#301736 - 01/27/08 09:57 AM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Max Faust]
capistrano Offline


Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 37
Loc: Baguio City, Philippines
Simple matters paid critical thought. Excellent one, as not everybody would deign to these simple matters at all. A lot of pivotal things (mostly very simple things) are overlooked nowadays. Manners, to name one. I've always been thought of as a tight ass for observing these.

To be more in line, such wisdom as this has led to a lot of discoveries. It is this very simple thing on expressions and words that taught me to "textualize" or more simply, read between the lines of common people talk. To an extent, a good command on this skill enables one to become a good judge of character.
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#301750 - 01/27/08 11:45 AM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Max Faust]
Taliana Offline


Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 1217
Loc: England
I personally can't stand it when someone says "We need to talk". I prefer "Can we talk?" or "Can I have a word?".

I think it's because "We need to talk" is a statement; the person has made a concrete decision (that a talk is necessary), and I am to be a part of that no matter what. It also has the feeling that it needs to be done RIGHT NOW.

"Can I have a word/can we talk?" is a question, and is open for me saying yes or no, and also gives the feeling that it doesn't have to be right this second, that I can delay it until it's more convenient, etc. It also feels a lot less confrontational, which makes me a lot more receptive to whatever it is the other person has to say.

I find it works the same way on other people, so I use it to my advantage depending on what it is and what the other person is like.

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#301791 - 01/27/08 05:23 PM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Taliana]
capistrano Offline


Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 37
Loc: Baguio City, Philippines
Nothing against hating "We need to talk;" actually, yours is very agreeable. Unfortunately, it often comes from people in authority, such as school principals, bosses, parents. And "Can we talk" often comes from strangers or equals (convenient term). It is when such norms are violated that necessary steps must be taken.
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#301942 - 01/28/08 12:19 PM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Max Faust]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
The "to be honest" line is mainly just filler and habit. I do it on occasion. And to be honest, ;\) , I use it as a lead in and nothing more.

It is like the statement "in my opinion". Obvious most of what you say is your opinion.

Being too analytical over simple filler language can actually devalue what you are trying to take in by over complicating it. Don't pay so much attention to the filler but instead pay more attention to the underlining meaning of the complete statements.
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"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#301943 - 01/28/08 12:29 PM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Discipline]
TheDegenerate Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 3567
Loc: Cowtown
 Originally Posted By: Discipline

Being too analytical over simple filler language can actually devalue what you are trying to take in by over complicating it. Don't pay so much attention to the filler but instead pay more attention to the underlining meaning of the complete statements.


Well said.

Many things don't necessarily have some underhanded meaning. You could easily accuse someone guilty of many "Um's" and "Ah's." in conversation as being deceptive, or sneaky, but likely, they are just having trouble finding the right words to use. Overanalyzing these small nuances in human behaviour is not only tedious (there are many many things such as these that could be gone over) but pointless as well.

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#301981 - 01/28/08 03:13 PM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: TheDegenerate]
shadowraven213 Offline


Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 541
I would add to this that on the Internet no emotion but those the words themselves evoke in you are expressed by message you read so it can leave a lot to the imagination.

That isn't to say with careful study you cant learn something from the way people speak and what they say and more importantly how they say them.

Like everything there needs to be a balance, finding that is the key.
_________________________
"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
Charles Mackay - 1814-1889
Scottish poet, journalist, and song writer.

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#301986 - 01/28/08 03:21 PM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: TheDegenerate]
Woglug Offline


Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 13
Loc: Sheffield, UK
I have to agree with a lot of what had been said, I know I have used "In my opinion" almost as a way of introducing my point of view. There is no necessary reason for it to be there, its just a style and a vice i use in the way I communicate.

I actually find it comforting to here people use Idioms, as it can give you a greater insight into a person, even to the point of localization and regional upbringing and secondly when your are unable to hear a tone of voice or see someone face-to-face, it aids in the instant recognition of a lot of peoples i.e. written texts, as people have the attendance to write how they talk. The opposite is also true the lack of these idioms can often show deceit or unease in what's been said \ written.

Although there is one statements that I have always found annoying, which is "You will never guess what..". Of course I won't there are an infant amounts of possibility JUST TELL ME!!!
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#302082 - 01/28/08 09:56 PM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Woglug]
Shegeek Offline


Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 33
Loc: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I use some of the filler sentences out of sheer habit. I get a bit more urked when people say things like "For all intensive purposes" When the actual saying is "For all intents and purposes". Dumb little pet peeves I usually shoosh about.
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#302083 - 01/28/08 10:03 PM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Woglug]
Pact_Primeval Offline


Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Derby, England
It annoys me when people hint at something, without clarifying what it is. They keep dragging it on until you are forced to respond, or walk away. Example:

"Oh wow... ... ... ... That's pretty cool... ... ... ... ... That's well good... ... ... ... ... Seriously... ... ..."

I bet it is. Shame it's not important enough to be spoken clearly.

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#302121 - 01/29/08 12:47 AM Re: Strange Expressions [Re: Woglug]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
>>infant amounts

Is that a new measurement of baby quantities?

I just had to tease you on that one.
_________________________
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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