Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New Mr. Deity! Mr. D is on a roll!


The phrase "I'm just saying" has gained big-time currency lately. I'm hearing it everywhere. Lots of times from my own mouth. But what the hell does it mean?

"Listen, I think Hudson has turned into a real jerk ever since he got that new TV."

"C'mon, man, that's pretty harsh."

"Hey, I'm just saying."

You're just saying what? Just saying that Hudson has turned into a jerk? Isn't that what you previously stated? Or are you just saying it and not meaning it? In which case, you shouldn't say it in the first place. If you're just saying it, then the words are nothing more than empty sounds spilling out of your mouth.

Is this little rhetorical turn a product of the times? Maybe we're so bombarded with the news of horrible events and their consequences that we don't want to make waves. We want to stay in the conversation, but instead of leaning in to our words, giving them heft, we're just saying them. Just putting them out there. It's a way for us to simultaneously be and not be in the room. The conversational version of being an innocent bystander, a fly on the wall.

Has anyone else noticed a surge in this phrase lately? I've definitely heard it before, but in the past couple months it seems I've heard it more often.


Anonymous said...

Craig, please reference the "Wig Sphere" episode of the Simpsons where Early in the episode Nelson suggests going to Macon, GA. The group (Bart, Milhouse, Nelson, Martin) decides to go to Knoxville instead. The "Wig Sphere" falls on their rental car and all are dejected. Nelson adds insult to injury by saying "This never would have happened if we went to Macon." Everyone gives him the stink eye, and he says "I'm just sayin' is all."

For that reason and many others, I love to say "Nevertheless" and "Even still" in many situations. I feel they are of identical meaninglessness/uselessness.

-aaron b.

PS my verification word to post this comment was "QEIFw". Pronounce it. I'm just sayin' is all.

Craig said...

And then some Rocket Fever readers will be familiar with the immortal term "neveronceagaininsomuchas."

Dr. Hot Crap said...

"I'm just sayin'" makes a comeback once every 10 years or so.

Like Aerosmith.

Or Brittany's craziness.