Charlie Hatton About This
About Me
Email Me

Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

All Quotes
Site Search:

« Occupational Suicide, Chapter #2,481 | Main | Kitty Whipped »

It's My New Best Policy

(Curious about scanning electron microscopy? Well, of course you are -- who isn't?

Want to know what SEM has to do with 30 Rock, the Simpsons and Goldspider, which I totally didn't just make up? Then check out the latest post on Secondhand SCIENCE. That'll teach ya.)

I'm thinking of picking up a new phrase to sprinkle into conversation. Because that's totally the sort of thing I think about on weekends, when there's nothing else happening.

Truly, I'm living the dream.

Anyway, my top candidate right now is "if I'm honest". So far as I can tell, this is a phrase that gets a fair amount of use in the U.K., but not so much here in the States.

I say that because I don't remember ever hearing anyone nearby saying "if I'm honest", and I listen to people who speak directly to me at least six or seven percent of the time.

(Somewhat less if they have freckles. Freckles are very distracting.)

At the same time, the phrase is used all the time on the show which I use as a barometer for all of British culture -- Top Gear on BBC America. For example:

"If I'm honest, the Porsche's grille looks like a cross-eyed Sheffield boxer's reflection in a funhouse mirror."

Or: "If I'm honest, your lap time was slower than the tea room queue for biscuits at the St. Palsy-on-Thames Home for Addled Spinsters."

Or perhaps: "If I'm honest, my car's handling is as squirrelly as James May's unkempt gentleman's forest."

It's possible they never said any of these things. I only listen closely to foreign specialty variety shows about twelve percent of the time. But let's assume they did. Or at least they said "if I'm honest" a lot.

I think this is a fantastic habit to pick up, for three very good reasons.

First, using this phrase involves doing something that the Top Gear presenters do, and that's obviously what they're there for. The motto for the show is practically, "yes, by all means, please try all of these things at home".

More important, "if I'm honest" is a near-complete license for deception. If I work it into conversation three or four times a day, then it establishes that, in those three or four sentences, I'm being completely honest. I've just announced it, and so those sentences won't be lies.

The logical conclusion being that all the other words I spew out over the course of the day are very likely mistruths, duplicitous, ill-informed or pure fantasy. It's beautiful. Label the truths, and take the rest of the time off.

How has this not caught on in, for instance, Congress? Seems like a fit.

Finally, "if I'm honest" seems like a fantastic template for other feelings or attitudes someone might want to declare at the beginning of sentences. Why stop at honesty, when the phrasing represents a handy launching point for a whole spectrum of messages to relay? Like so:

"If I'm tired, I probably wasn't listening to you anyway, freckleface."

"If I'm nervous, I need a fresh pair of pants."

"If I'm horny, you should put on the Babar costume and pick a new safeword."

So that's settled. "If I'm honest" is now a part of my vocabulary, along with other derivatives as I find them handy. Ooh, here's one:

"If I'm out of good ideas right now, then I just managed to squeeze nineteen paragraphs of nonsense out of some offhand comments on a smartass show about European cars."

Oh yeah. This is already working out. Brilliant.

Permalink | Comments (0)


Post a comment

HomeAboutArchiveBestShopEmail © 2003-15 Charlie Hatton All Rights Reserved
Me on Science:
  Secondhand SCIENCE

Me on ZuG (RIP):
  Zolton's FB Pranks
  Zolton Does Amazon

Me on Baseball:
  Bugs & Cranks

Me on Apartments:
  Author Page

Three Wee Tweets:
Favorite Posts:
30 Facts: Alton Brown
A Commute Dreary
A Hallmark Moment
Blue's Clues Explained
Eight Your 5-Hole?
El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
Grammar, Revisitated
How I Feel About Hippos
How I Feel About Pinatas
How I Feel About Pirates
Life Is Like...
Life Is Also Like...
Smartass 101
Twelve Simple Rules
Unreal Reality Shows
V-Day for Dummies
Wheel of Misfortune
Zolton, Interview Demon

Me, Elsewhere

Standup Comedy Clips

Selected Clips:
  09/10/05: Com. Studio
  04/30/05: Goodfellaz
  04/09/05: Com. Studio
  01/28/05: Com. Studio
  12/11/04: Emerald Isle
  09/06/04: Connection

Boston Comedy Clubs

 My 100 Things Posts

Selected Things:
  #6: My Stitches
  #7: My Name
  #11: My Spelling Bee
  #35: My Spring Break
  #36: My Skydives
  #53: My Memory
  #55: My Quote
  #78: My Pencil
  #91: My Family
  #100: My Poor Knee

More Features:

List of Lists
33 Faces of Me
Punchline Fever
Simpsons Quotes
Quantum Terminology

...Bleeding Obvious
By Ken Levine
Defective Yeti
Divorced Dad of Two
Gallivanting Monkey
Junk Drawer
Life... Weirder
Little. Red. Boat.
Mighty Geek
Scott's Tip of the Day
Something Authorly
Unlikely Explanations

Full Archive

Category Archives:

(Stupid) Computers (70)
A Doofus Is Me (203)
Articles 'n' Zines (74)
Audience Participation (35)
Awkward Conversations (176)
Bits About Blogging (168)
Bitter Old Man Rants (50)
Blasts from My Past (78)
Cars 'n' Drivers (60)
Dog Drivel (78)
Eek!Cards (267)
Foodstuff Fluff (116)
Fun with Words! (71)
Googlicious! (27)
Grooming Gaffes (88)
Just Life (238)
Loopy Lists (33)
Making Fun of Jerks (59)
Marketing Weenies (66)
Married and a Moron (185)
Miscellaneous Nonsense (62)
Potty Talk / Yes, I'm a Pig (84)
Sleep, and Lack Thereof (34)
TV & Movies & Games, O My! (101)
Tales from the Stage (74)
Tasty Beverages (29)
The Happy Homeowner (81)
Vacations 'n' Holidays (134)
Weird for the Sake of Weird (71)
Whither the Weather (40)
Wicked Pissah Bahstan (49)
Wide World o' Sports (124)
Work, Work, Work (206)

Alas Smith and Jones
Berkeley Breathed
Bill Hicks
Dave Barry
Dexter's Laboratory
Douglas Adams
Evening at the Improv
Fawlty Towers
George Alec Effinger
Jake Johannsen
Married... With Children
Monty Python
Nick Bakay
Peter King
Ren and Stimpy
Rob Neyer
Sluggy Freelance
The Simpsons
The State

Plugs, Shameless
Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass



Blogging Fusion Blog Directory


Listed on BlogShares

Top Blogs


Feeds and More
Subscribe via FeedBurner


RSS 2.0
Site Hosting:
Solid Solutions

Powered by:

Title Banner Photo:
Shirley Harshenin

Creative Commons License
  This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License

Mint Installation

Performancing Metrics

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Valid XHTML 1.0

Valid CSS!

© 2003-15 Charlie Hatton
All Rights Reserved