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.