Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Not Being Funny

A phrase which I think should be banned from usage is: "not being funny, but...". It's ridiculous. The only time people ever use this phrase is when they're about to be funny (funny - odd, not funny - haha) or try to be funny (funny - haha, not funny - odd).

I realised this when a drunk fresher came up to me today and said "Oi! Chick*! Not being funny, but my name's John Breakfast". I looked at him, sighed, and said "Oh, go away". The look on his face was priceless. I'm not sure how he expected me to react, but it probably wasn't in the parental 'I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed' way. He walked away looking embarrassed.

The point of this charming and deeply enthralling story being that when people say "Not being funny, but..." it is always when they are about to be funny. Or dickheads.

Just don't say it - you might as well say "I'm going to say something stupid now, but because I've warned you and denied it before beforehand so you're not allowed to be offended". At least it's honest.

The only suitable situation I can think of is when someone might genuinely think you are making some sort of joke, but you are worryingly serious (which is of course what the phrase was probably originally intended for, but it has been bastardised somewhat).

For example, you're in a restaurant eating consume, and your dining partner looks to you worriedly and whispers, "Not being funny, but this soup tastes like piss". Your suspicions about the waiter being confirmed, you regretfully agree.

I hope John Breakfast wasn't his real name.

*Yes, he used the word 'chick', and no, it wasn't in the context of 1994 or a poultry farm.

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