Another of my TTPP (Top Ten Pet Peeves). This one is SOOOO prevalent. You’ll hear it everywhere now.Speakers who begin a sentence with, “Well, to be honest…” If you’re ever in a one-on-one conversation with me and say that, I’ll fire back, “Yes, please be honest.” If I know you even a little bit, I’ll add, “I was beginning to wonder when you’d come clean and start telling the truth.“This is another of those phrases that makes it to our speech but would never get written down. And that likely means that it’s superflous, unecessary, and has meaning we don’t intend.In this particular case, the connotation is that a change is now being made and perhaps the things I’ve said to this point haven’t been totally above board. I doubt seriously that’s what anybody means by it, which is another warning that our verbage, as well as our non-verbals add up mightily to deliver a message, whether it’s the one we outlined or not.
Eliminate phrases that don’t add to your message, especially ones that have a potentially harmful undercurrent.