People who start words with contradictions (sans pictures)

Posted by james on June 3, 2001

The pictures are gone. A friend called me on it and I realized that while they add to the rants, they aren't right. So they're gone.

The thoughts from the DR are still stewing in my mind, but it's not time to write those out yet. So for now, I'll write on a few less significant thoughts that otherwise will soon be lost from my mind.

One thing I was thinking about lately was people who start their words with contradictions. The phrase that sparked my thought was "I don't want to break the mood, but..." Now here's a contradiction; the speaker does not want to break the mood but still wants to say the following thing that he knows (or believes) will break the mood. The only way this isn't a contradiction is if he actually has to say thing that follows. What he's implying is "I don't want to break the mood, but I have to (am forced to) say this: ..." Then it makes sense. But usually the thing that he says really doesn't need to be said. So it becomes a cheat. People use the phrase to couch the effects of what they're about to say. They might be breaking the mood and ruining something, but in our minds (as listeners) we'll forgive... after all, he apologized beforehand. But in reality, if I (as a speaker) really didn't want to break the mood, I simply wouldn't say whatever it was I had planned to. Whatever I had to say could wait. If I had something that absolutely had to be said, then it'd be an appropriate time for me to say "I don't want to break the mood but..."

I guess what I'm trying to point out is how the phrase is abused, and consequently loses it's meaning. Sometimes I wouldn't mind what the person is going to say and the phrase passes by me. But the time I heard it used last was when I was in a sunday morning church service. I was out of my element, but I was trying to pray and commune with God and it was at the end of the service. And right in the middle of that, the person on the mic said those words... "I don't want to ruin the mood, but..." and proceeded to try to sell something. Literally. It wasn't as evil as trying to sell pardons for sins, or doves for sacrifice, but all the same it was a little distasteful. And that's when the thought stuck in my mind; if he really didn't want to break the mood, he shouldn't have talked for five minutes about the thing he's trying to sell. It really didn't need to be said (it could have waited until after). So the truth... "I regret ruining the mood, but I think the importance of what I have to say justifies the disruption this will cause..." And I don't think he would have said that, because put as plainly as that not many people would continue talking.

So that's where I'm at. Not a literal meaning nazi... I don't need people to always use the exact phrases they mean and never say something that isn't completely, literally true. But I would like that people realize the true nature of what they're doing (saying), and not allow couch phrases to justify in their minds things that otherwise (with a little thought) they wouldn't feel were justified.