What She Said Was….

I have a pet peeve.

I don’t know exactly when this habit of speech started happening in our conversations – maybe a while ago – but what makes me mad is…that!

Why do we preface what we are saying with, “What ____ (fill it in _____) ….”

For instance:
1. What you want to do is (get the right kind of boating shoes)….

2. What that means is (when she gets on the boat she’ll fall off).

3. What happened was (she went on the boat, fell off and)….

4. What makes me mad is (when people preface their statements with a half-qualifying phrase)….

Hello? If you’re writing a book, every time you say that phrase, you’re adding unnecessary words! You’re an editor’s worst nightmare!

If you’re giving a speech, your cadence is destroyed, and you sound like a second-rate teacher who doesn’t have any authority.

Listen to this: What happened was, when she got on the boat, her shoes were the wrong kind, and she slipped and fell off. Of what earthly use is the What happened was part? None!

It makes me nuts! Where did this lousy habit come from? Get rid of it! Here’s what to do:

1. DON’T SAY:  
What you want to do is (get the right kind of boating shoes)….

DO SAY:
Make sure you get the right kind of boating shoes….

2. DON’T SAY:
What that means is (when she gets on the boat she’ll fall off)….

DO SAY:
When she gets on the boat wearing slick-soled shoes, she’ll likely fall off….

3. DON’T SAY:
What happened was (she went on the boat, fell off and)….

DO SAY:
She wore the stupid shoes, and guess what? When she went on the boat, she fell off!

4. DON’T SAY:
What makes me mad is (when people preface their statements with a half-qualifying phrase)….

DO SAY:
When people start their sentences with stupid half-qualifiers, they reduce their credibility!

Stop saying what happened was, what that is, is…and so on! Oh yeah – my manners…please! Please stop saying that!

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