Friday, May 13, 2011

To be honest whichya

As I've moved around the country, I've noticed phrases or words that are common to that particular area. When we moved to Idaho, it was "whatnot". As in, "For dinner, we'll have burgers, fries and whatnot." Or also, "When you do a load of laundry, do the socks, underwear and whatnot."

Now sometimes you needed to be careful how use you used the term "whatnot" since it could leave quite a bit to the imagination. Need an example? Imagine asking someone out on a date. When your person of choice asks, "What are we going to do?" and you respond, "I thought we'd drive up to the mountains, look at the stars, have a good talk, kiss a little and whatnot." (You could be meaning "reading scriptures--your date could take it another way)

Along that same vein is "yadda, yadda, yadda"--made famous from an episode of Seinfeld. The show actually did a good job of demonstrating how using such generic terms can lead to misunderstandings.


So, to avoid confusion, we should always be clear and honest? Right?

Which brings me to my next phrase which I picked up in Connecticut: "To be honest with you" (or if you want to say it right, it sounds more like "To be honest whichya".

People would say this when they wanted to make you understood they were being sincere. But why would they need to clarify this point? Doesn't using that phrase seem to indicate that most of the time the person is lying to you?

I was in a discussion recently where we talked what it meant to be honest. My first comment was "Being honest isn’t the same thing as speaking whatever is on your mind." This raised a few eyebrows. But the word "honest" comes from the meaning "respectable, decent, of neat appearance." Don't believe me? Click here.

Sometimes people confuse offering their opinion as "I'm just being honest". What’s left out of this sentence is ". . . about what I think."

And frankly, what some people think can be pretty messed up. Anyone that has read more than one of my blogs can attest to that!

Sometimes being too honest with your opinion can cause issues. Imagine getting pulled over for speeding though you didn't think you were. Let's say this police officer is particularly attractive. Would you dare say, "There is no way I was speeding. You must be bored to pull me over for something so trivial when there are so many other bad people out there breaking more serious laws. Oh, and by the way, you are smokin' hot."

And of course, there is the oldie but goodie that us men get asked time and again from our wives, "Does this dress make me look fat?" Try answering, "It's not the dress. It's your butt." I'll bet no amount of saying, "You told me you wanted me to be honest in our marriage!" will keep you from sleeping on the couch.

**For the record: this blog in no way, shape, nor form indicates how I think about my wife. I would never say or think such things--the couch is way too uncomfortable to sleep on.


  1. I understand that "what the heck" is very Utah. But I've lived here most of my life, so I don't have a lot of experience using it out of state.

  2. I've lived in Virginia for almost 15 years now and have come to adore the efficiency of the pronoun ya'll and it's multiple forms, such as
    * multiple people: all ya'll
    * belonging to you: ya'll's
    * belonging to multiple people: all ya'll's

    All forms of ya'll just have a better ring to it than the western "you guys" especially the plural possessive form "you guys's" which I heard on a regular basis growing up in Utah.

  3. Yes, "What the heck" is certainly very Utah. I got teased many a time in Connecticut when I said that.

    Now that I'm in the south, I'll catch myself saying "Y'all" more often than a Yankee should.

    Alas. . .