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January 02, 2007


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Carol Soules

But Henry... when a phrase such as "trust me" or truthfully" or "honestly" is used in this way it serves to cue the reader that though the accompanying statement might seem outlandish or even tongue in cheek, the writer means for it to be read literally-- as truth. The phrase isn't intended to reflect on the character of the writer (as in, "I usually tell bold faced lies but this one time I am telling the truth.") but rather to clarify the veracity of the statement it accompanies. There's a lot of richness in phrases such as this and truth be told, if we dissect and eliminate them all we'd be left with a lot of pretty boring and potentially misunderstood, writing. So, go ahead, tell it like it is, dude. :-)

Henry Williams

Good point. Reminds me of people who get bent out of shape by the use of "How you doing?" in greeting when the person has no intention of stopping to hear how you're doing. In reality, "how you doing?" means "hi." No need to eliminate it.

At the same time, I still don't like "to be honest with you." Most people know it means I'm going to be frank with you (and thank God everybody isn't completely frank all the time!). But I think my email writer is correct in saying that sometimes a phrase like "turst me" is used in ways that raise suspicion. So, eliminate these phrases? Not necessarily. Probably not even desireable, as you point out. But use them well, don't misuse them and don't overuse them. How's that?

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  • I'm the lead pastor of Five Oaks Church in Woodbury, MN where we seek to help people CONNECT with others and God, DEEPEN their relationship with Christ and IMPACT the world for Christ.

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