No offense or disrespect intended…

…but I’ve learned that, almost always, when someone begins a message (blog post, FriendFeed post, tweet, op-ed column, conversation, whatever) with that phrase, they’re about to say something offensive and disrespectful.

[Just a thought.]

6 Responses to “No offense or disrespect intended…”

  1. Steve Lawson says:

    That’s so true. “With all due respect” typically means “I think you are a contemptible ass.”

  2. I’ve often wondered if people use this phrase b/c in their own heads, they cannot separate an idea from its creator…and assume the recipient cannot either.

  3. Angel says:

    I wonder if it has to do with situation. I mean, if I thought I could get away with telling a boss, for instance, that he or she is indeed a contemptible ass, I would. So saying “with all due respect” can be a way of CYA, showing deference to the contemptible ass, so on. Then again, is it because more often than not a lot of people get easily offended over nothing? But yea, I have noticed that as well. You hear the phrase, you know something is coming.

    Best, and keep on blogging.

  4. Of course. I use those phrases with full awareness of the problem. I mean something like “I *recognize* that this statement has an implication which is offensive or disrespectful, but I do not primarily intend that personal element” (i.e. it exists, but isn’t the goal).

    I deal with this a lot when I argue with blog-evangelists. I think many of them preach nonsense-on-stilts, and moreover there’s significant financial incentive for them to do so – but saying that can lead into a rhetorical trap:

    Evangelist: “Are you claiming I do THIS FOR THE MONEY? How dare you. That’s so rude! …”

    Me: “Well, no disrespect intended, but it is a fact that your entire income is based on selling this stuff.”

    If someone contends I should never mention that aspect, I disagree – I think those monetary aspects are very important in order to understand the driving forces involved.

  5. walt says:

    Ah, another demonstration of the Comment Randomness Principle (“you can never predict which posts, not involving birth, death, marriage or new jobs, will get lots of comments”).

    Seth: I would note that you’re using it in conversation–not as an opening statement. The situation’s a little different. (I could argue that you do, in a case like this, intend some disrespect…but maybe not.)

    Now that we’ve established that I can Draw Comments Like Crazy(TM), can I get the big ad bucks? (OK, so Scalzi gets dozens of times as many comments. But he’s Scalzi.)

  6. Ivan Chew says:

    [Scrambling to check how many times I’ve used that in my posts, LOL]. Good observation there. Reminds me of some YouTube videos whose blurb says, “I do not own any of this stuff; I’m copying this and sharing it here for entertainment purposes. No copyright infringement intended”.