It's not often that I use our blog to air personal opinions, well personal opinions that don't really have a business angle, but today I'm going to make an exception.
What did the expression "to be fair" come into such common use? I seem to hear it all the time now. I put it right up there with "to be honest" in terms of phrases I'm fed up with, and hate to hear.
When someone says to me "Well to be honest David….." it doesn't really matter what they say next, all I can think about is whether they are truly being honest?
Surely if they have to say they are being honest means that there are times when they say things where they are NOT being honest.
Now, I accept that such phrases are affectations as much as they are conscious phrases that people have thought about before opening their mouths, but everytime I hear them I just get distracted.
The other day I was talking with one of my team and they were using the phrase "to be fair" so much that I found myself drawing the beginnings of a little five bar gate in my notepad to keep track *
It's a bit like saying "sorry". Did you see that report in the new this week that said we say "sorry" 2,900 times per year (Daily Express article) You nudge past someone turning a corner, you automatically say "sorry". You are walking towards someone, they move left, you move left, you both move right, finally you pass on one side. You both mumble "sorry" as you pass by. Why are you "sorry", you might say "excuse me", you might say "whoops", but not "sorry". You're not REALLY sorry in that situation are you.
Pay attention now I've mentioned it, it happens all the time.
So, what language patterns get your goat?
* I got tobefore the end of the conversation.