Not so long ago, I adopted a policy of trying to speak in my day-to-day business life the same way all of us at DDCC try to write: tight, crisp and concise. I vowed to embrace the silent pauses in my own prose, instead of trying to fill them with unnecessary, redundant or contrary words or phrases. It’s a journey, not a destination, though I’d like to think I’m making progress.

Along the way, those “fill in” phrases uttered by random people around me became even more obvious. It’s kind of like purchasing a new car and then noticing so many more of those exact cars on the road. It just happens.

In the same way I would resist giving the thumbs up to all those drivers in our common new vehicles, I’m now trying very hard to resist correcting those unnecessary (and oftentimes opposite-meaning) phrases among my friends, family and associates.

Maybe if I share them all with you, I won’t need to resist correcting anyone at all. Here then are “the dirty dozen” phrases I’m bound and determined to avoid saying and to “try” not correcting when I hear them. I’ve also included their real meanings; all of which I’m clear are quite different than the actual words or phrases themselves. Hope you enjoy!

    1. 1. To be honest (Hmmm…how about everything else you said?)


    2. Just sayin’ (This will offend you but I’ve decided to say it anyway.)


    3. With all due respect (I’m about to say something disrespectful.)


    4. It’s neither here nor there (Then why did you say it?)


    5. I don’t mean to offend you, but…(I will offend you for sure.)


    6. Just so you know (You probably won’t like this and I don’t care.)


    7. I’m sorry you feel that way (I’m not sorry at all.)


    8. To keep it simple (It’s already much too complicated.)


    9. To make a long story short (Just this phrase made it even longer.)


    10. Needless to say (Then why say it?)


    11. That being said (We know; we just heard it.)


    12. I don’t mean to interrupt you, but… (That’s exactly what you meant to do.)

Please feel free to comment or add to the list. My commitment to remove these—and more—is a bandwagon with plenty of seats for us all! Oh, and to be honest, you can count on their absence in your DDCC meetings or in the stories we write. Just sayin’.



Ruth Drizen-Dohs

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