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Not to be Rude

No offense but… Not to be rude… Don’t take this the wrong way…

In other words, brace yourself because I guarantee that whatever is coming next will be offensive, rude, and wrong. Well, maybe not wrong—it could actually be true—but you can bet it’s not going to be pleasant. Personally, I’ve never ever heard anything positive come after one of those prefaces.

No offense, but are you really going to eat all that?

Not to be rude or anything but you kinda smell like frogs.

Don’t take this the wrong way but you’re seriously going to wear those shoes?

Those are just greasy ways of being hostile, harsh and unkind under the pretext of being tactful, diplomatic and sensitive. They’re so slick that the recipient usually feels that they’re being piloted by a superior being that has their best interest at heart which not to be rude is bullshit. (No offense on my language.)

Let me break this down for you because, not to be rude, you might be stupid.

1. NO OFFENSE BUT: Always a shot, however indirectly it is disguised.

2. NOT TO BE RUDE: An almost direct hit because you’re instantly tipped off that they mean to be discourteous.

3. DON'T TAKE THIS THE WRONG WAY: A sneaky attempt to take you off defense just before an attack.

This is another good one: I'M SORRY, BUT...

Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that. Uh, or said that. I.S.B. is always toxic—a proper apology should never ever include BUT.

Ahh, and here's my all-time favorite (to say, not hear) is: I'M JUST SAYING. Right. You’re never just saying, you’re saying sooo much more.

Abraham Lincoln said “We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.”

I had to think about that one. Did he mean: Go ahead, hit me with your best shot, I can take it, and by the way, relax… I won’t dish it back out. Not to be rude or anything, Mr. Lincoln, but you don’t sound like a real politician. And don’t take this wrong way but if you want to get anywhere in government you probably should get off your sea-saw and decide whom you are going to offend. No offense, but nobody likes a wishy-washy politician and I’m sorry but either go big or go home. (Just don’t go to the theatre.)

I'm just saying.