Author Topic: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes *clarification post #68*  (Read 9003 times)

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Minmom3

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #60 on: January 09, 2013, 12:53:18 PM »
IMO, Mary is trying a little too hard to join in, but you can't shut that down without being a complete hag, so you're stuck with it...
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Yvaine

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #61 on: January 09, 2013, 01:15:08 PM »
I can see situations where it would be annoying, what Mary was doing. But I don't think there's much that can be done at this point. Especially if it is just a one-word description like 'spicy', it doesn't seem that odd that Mary would pick up on it. I *love* spreading weird catchphrases and so on with people. If a slang word I've picked up 'goes viral' I feel a little happy anytime someone uses it, like having a book published and seeing someone reading it on a much smaller scale. So if it seems like it could be something like that, I don't think Mary's doing anything wrong.

Me too! :) I've had that happen and it always tickles me a little.

shivering

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2013, 01:22:21 PM »
Mary was feeling insecure and trying too hard to fit in. It's not rude of Sue and Sally to bring up the inside joke on occasion as long as they're not overusing it or dwelling on it.

However, you can't tell Mary not to use the phrase without coming off like a real pill. Best thing to do is not to say it around her and gloss over it when she uses it. Hopefully she'll get the hint.

gramma dishes

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2013, 01:27:28 PM »


...    It can feel odd and awkward for someone to pick up on a shared experience they weren't there for.  ...

But she not only didn't "share" the experience, she apparently wasn't even told about it.  They just told her what the word meant.  Not how it came to be used that way.  So she isn't trying to emulate or place herself in their shared experience.  She just thinks she's learned a new usage for a vocabulary word.

Yes, she's doing it to try to 'fit in', but that's a compliment isn't it?  If she knew the story and then latched onto the word, I'd admit that maybe I'd find that a little more annoying because it would be her more or less pretending that she was part of the story and she clearly wasn't.

ladyknight1

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2013, 02:00:25 PM »
I would find an "inside" phrase used repeatedly as in the OP to be exclusive behavior and not welcoming to new people. I wouldn't do it, as I think it is rude.

Kiwichick

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2013, 02:38:00 PM »
But, I do think that this depends on the nature of the joke. In the example given in the OP, using the phrase "That's spicy!" as an expression of surprise is vague enough that it could simply become a phrase. But if it was something much more specific then I think it might emphasise the 'falseness'. If, for example, the OP and her friend had a phrase like "wait a minute... this isn't water, it's hot sauce!", then I think it would be slightly more off-putting, because it's more a phrase of reminiscence than an inside joke, and by using it, the second friend would almost be pretending they were there for the initial incident.

I think this is an interesting distinction. Let's say Sally and Sue are sisters, and Mary is their brother's fiancee. They want her to feel welcomed into the family. One day, in front of Mary, Sally and Sue use the phrase, "wait a minute... this isn't water, it's hot sauce!!!" and then start laughing. Mary's confused, because there's no water or hot sauce around. Again, in this scenario they want her to feel welcome, so Sally and Sue happily explain the incident from a few years ago that inspired the phrase. Now Mary knows what they mean by it, and where it comes from.

I still think it would be weird for Mary to actually use the phrase herself, because it suggests she was present at an event that happened before her time. It's like she's artificially trying to build history with the group. If she does this kind of thing often, it could be viewed as a bit insecure and desperate, like she thinks she won't be able to form new memories with the group so she's trying to insert herself into old ones. If I was Sally or Sue, I wouldn't be thinking so much that Mary is rude, as she is insecure, and if I generally liked her and wanted her to feel welcome, I would try doing other things to make her feel included and make new memories with her, so she doesn't feel the need to rather obviously co-opt situations she wasn't in.

Now, if this entire phrase has become a catchphrase of the whole family, and is already being used by people who weren't there, it would be rude to make Mary feel awkward for using it herself.

See, if my brother's fiancée actually used one of our in jokes in a context we'd use it in I'd think that she's just like us and 'gets' us too.  I absolutely wouldn't see anything insecure about it at all, in fact I'd be pleasantly surprised that she got it and wanted to join in.

I don't think understanding the joke implies she's pretending she was there either.

TootsNYC

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #66 on: January 09, 2013, 04:26:15 PM »
IMO, Mary is trying a little too hard to join in, but you can't shut that down without being a complete hag, so you're stuck with it...

Such a succinct summing-up!

Lynn2000

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2013, 04:39:55 PM »
See, if my brother's fiancée actually used one of our in jokes in a context we'd use it in I'd think that she's just like us and 'gets' us too.  I absolutely wouldn't see anything insecure about it at all, in fact I'd be pleasantly surprised that she got it and wanted to join in.

I don't think understanding the joke implies she's pretending she was there either.

I do think it depends somewhat on the exact phrasing of the joke, too. Let's say that one time, the sisters had to go somewhere in Cleveland, and Sally was so confident she knew where it was that she didn't bring the directions. She and Sue got horribly lost. Looking back, it's kind of funny; so whenever Sally gets overconfident that she knows where something is, Sue says, "Hey, remember what happened in Cleveland!" as a reminder to bring the directions. Other people in the family may understand the reference, but let's say that no one but Sally and Sue actually say it to each other--it's not just a family catchphrase meaning "bring the directions."

I think it would be weird if Mary suddenly said, "Hey, remember what happened in Cleveland!" when the situation arises. She doesn't remember what happened in Cleveland, because she wasn't in Cleveland. And to me, this phrasing really implies that she was there, and she's referencing this specific event that she was part of (but she wasn't). Also, it suggests she hasn't been around the family enough to realize that no one but Sally and Sue say this.

I do think this is far from a universal discomfort, though. Some families would think it was great that she was trying to join in with their traditions and phrases, and would be understanding if she didn't quite have them right yet (e.g., not realizing that only Sally and Sue say this phrase to each other). Others would be more like, "Huh? That's a little odd. It feels like she's trying too hard." And then hopefully they would say, "What can we do to help her relax, and feel like she doesn't have to try so hard?" I.e., respond in a kind way that continues to welcome Mary, because responding coldly to her misappropriation of the phrase would not bode well for relations between her and the in-laws.

I do realize I've changed the original scenario somewhat. But as it was a hypothetical/generalized scenario, I think it's okay to explore other options.
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kitchcat

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #68 on: January 09, 2013, 06:51:58 PM »
OP back again!

To clarify: the scenario I presented was a hypothetical, general example.

I think it would be weird if Mary suddenly said, "Hey, remember what happened in Cleveland!" when the situation arises. She doesn't remember what happened in Cleveland, because she wasn't in Cleveland. And to me, this phrasing really implies that she was there, and she's referencing this specific event that she was part of (but she wasn't). Also, it suggests she hasn't been around the family enough to realize that no one but Sally and Sue say this.

I still think it would be weird for Mary to actually use the phrase herself, because it suggests she was present at an event that happened before her time. It's like she's artificially trying to build history with the group.

This is what I was thinking when I made the OP, but I couldn't seem to word it out. 

The actual reason I made the OP was because someone decided to use an inside joke between DH and I that originated from an experience on our honeymoon. It was really awkward because...
  • The joke is very specific and would make no sense at all unless they were told the story behind it. (Not like the more adoptable "That's spicy" example.)
  • I never directly said this inside joke to the person. They overhead me using it with DH. However, they had been told the story that inspired the joke, so they obviously connected the dots and decided to use it when talking to me.
  • This person was obviously not present at our honeymoon. It was really awkward that they were trying to get "in" on such an intimate joke.

Hope that explains more what I was trying to express as opposed to "mean girl" clique-ishness.
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AnnaJ

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #69 on: January 09, 2013, 07:10:00 PM »
OP back again!

To clarify: the scenario I presented was a hypothetical, general example.

I think it would be weird if Mary suddenly said, "Hey, remember what happened in Cleveland!" when the situation arises. She doesn't remember what happened in Cleveland, because she wasn't in Cleveland. And to me, this phrasing really implies that she was there, and she's referencing this specific event that she was part of (but she wasn't). Also, it suggests she hasn't been around the family enough to realize that no one but Sally and Sue say this.

I still think it would be weird for Mary to actually use the phrase herself, because it suggests she was present at an event that happened before her time. It's like she's artificially trying to build history with the group.

This is what I was thinking when I made the OP, but I couldn't seem to word it out. 

The actual reason I made the OP was because someone decided to use an inside joke between DH and I that originated from an experience on our honeymoon. It was really awkward because...
  • The joke is very specific and would make no sense at all unless they were told the story behind it. (Not like the more adoptable "That's spicy" example.)
  • I never directly said this inside joke to the person. They overhead me using it with DH. However, they had been told the story that inspired the joke, so they obviously connected the dots and decided to use it when talking to me.
  • This person was obviously not present at our honeymoon. It was really awkward that they were trying to get "in" on such an intimate joke.

Hope that explains more what I was trying to express as opposed to "mean girl" clique-ishness.


When you say 'overheard' do you mean you were having a private conversation with your husband and the other person heard the word/phrase, or were you all participating in a general conversation and you said the word/phrase to your husband as part of the general conversation?

If the person overheard you use it with your husband once, that person is definitely overreaching their boundaries.  If you have repeatedly used the word/phrase in front of this person then it may seem 'off' (to you) for them to use it but  I can see why they would not think of it as personal or intimate if you had used it openly.

bah12

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #70 on: January 10, 2013, 11:01:21 AM »
OP back again!

To clarify: the scenario I presented was a hypothetical, general example.

I think it would be weird if Mary suddenly said, "Hey, remember what happened in Cleveland!" when the situation arises. She doesn't remember what happened in Cleveland, because she wasn't in Cleveland. And to me, this phrasing really implies that she was there, and she's referencing this specific event that she was part of (but she wasn't). Also, it suggests she hasn't been around the family enough to realize that no one but Sally and Sue say this.

I still think it would be weird for Mary to actually use the phrase herself, because it suggests she was present at an event that happened before her time. It's like she's artificially trying to build history with the group.

This is what I was thinking when I made the OP, but I couldn't seem to word it out. 

The actual reason I made the OP was because someone decided to use an inside joke between DH and I that originated from an experience on our honeymoon. It was really awkward because...
  • The joke is very specific and would make no sense at all unless they were told the story behind it. (Not like the more adoptable "That's spicy" example.)
  • I never directly said this inside joke to the person. They overhead me using it with DH. However, they had been told the story that inspired the joke, so they obviously connected the dots and decided to use it when talking to me.
  • This person was obviously not present at our honeymoon. It was really awkward that they were trying to get "in" on such an intimate joke.

Hope that explains more what I was trying to express as opposed to "mean girl" clique-ishness.

The clarication is very different from the scenario in the OP.  Not so much because "That's Spicy" is easily adoptable, but because your example in the OP had two people use the phrase in front of the third several times.  That's not the same as not using the phrase in front of the third party and them overhearing.

For this scenario, I think the third party is a bit socially awkward.  I would never ask someone (much less adopt) something specific about a conversation I was not meant to hear.

Yvaine

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes
« Reply #71 on: January 10, 2013, 11:14:04 AM »
OP back again!

To clarify: the scenario I presented was a hypothetical, general example.

I think it would be weird if Mary suddenly said, "Hey, remember what happened in Cleveland!" when the situation arises. She doesn't remember what happened in Cleveland, because she wasn't in Cleveland. And to me, this phrasing really implies that she was there, and she's referencing this specific event that she was part of (but she wasn't). Also, it suggests she hasn't been around the family enough to realize that no one but Sally and Sue say this.

I still think it would be weird for Mary to actually use the phrase herself, because it suggests she was present at an event that happened before her time. It's like she's artificially trying to build history with the group.

This is what I was thinking when I made the OP, but I couldn't seem to word it out. 

The actual reason I made the OP was because someone decided to use an inside joke between DH and I that originated from an experience on our honeymoon. It was really awkward because...
  • The joke is very specific and would make no sense at all unless they were told the story behind it. (Not like the more adoptable "That's spicy" example.)
  • I never directly said this inside joke to the person. They overhead me using it with DH. However, they had been told the story that inspired the joke, so they obviously connected the dots and decided to use it when talking to me.
  • This person was obviously not present at our honeymoon. It was really awkward that they were trying to get "in" on such an intimate joke.

Hope that explains more what I was trying to express as opposed to "mean girl" clique-ishness.

The clarication is very different from the scenario in the OP.  Not so much because "That's Spicy" is easily adoptable, but because your example in the OP had two people use the phrase in front of the third several times.  That's not the same as not using the phrase in front of the third party and them overhearing.

For this scenario, I think the third party is a bit socially awkward.  I would never ask someone (much less adopt) something specific about a conversation I was not meant to hear.

Especially between romantic partners--I'd worry it meant something really intimate!  ;) ;D The accidental overhearing and it being a married couple change everything!

NyaChan

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes *clarification post #68*
« Reply #72 on: January 10, 2013, 11:17:18 AM »
I agree with Yvaine and bah12 - the actual situation is exactly the sort where using the inside joke is uncomfortable and inappropriate.  1) the joke was overheard, 2) it was between romantic partners, and 3) it was connected to a private, romantic event - nothing that anyone other than those two partners has any business referring to or horning in on.

TootsNYC

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes *clarification post #68*
« Reply #73 on: January 10, 2013, 11:21:50 AM »
I can totally see my MIL doing this sort of thing. She'd have heard the story; and then I'd say the phrase to my husband in a semi-private conversation (we're talking to each other in the living room and she's by the kitchen door doing something else, so of course she can hear but she's not really in our conversation).

It would bug me.

And in that situation, I think I would say, "That's a joke that's just for us, because it came from our honeymoon. Please don't use it."

Even if it wasn't romantic--it's ours.

It's not like we included her in it--and she's going to sometimes witness some intimacy between us. That doesn't mean she gets to be in the middle of it.

My MIL has done something sort of similar--not as intimate. My DH and I used to use the "shave and a haircut, two bits" code on the apartment-buzzer to mean, "don't ask who it is, just come straight down, it's your spouse and I need you down here right now." (usually because I had to go back to the car at the curb where the little kids were sleeping, so that I didn't leave them unattended, or perhaps because I'm double parked and unloading groceries, or something)

She saw me do it one time when she was with me, and I explained what it meant (bcs I had to explain why I didn't wait for him to say something through the speaker). And the next time she visited, instead of just pushing the buzzer once, she did the "shave and a haircut" rhythm.

After the third time she did it, I told her that this had a specific meaning and we didn't want her to use it unless she needed us to come down and help her carry something.

But I can see her trying to be part of our couple-dom by using some little code phrase like that. And I'd say something nicely. Even if it wasn't romantic or sexual; it's ours, it's part of our couple bonding.

Lynn2000

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Re: Outsiders latching onto inside jokes *clarification post #68*
« Reply #74 on: January 10, 2013, 01:57:01 PM »
I remember the MIL and the buzzer story. That would be annoying especially because it's a semi-emergency signal--you hear it and you hurry downstairs to help your spouse with something, only to see your MIL standing there going, "Hi, it's me!"  ::)

I do think the modified scenario from the OP falls into inappropriate/weird territory--an overheard phrase used once by a couple? However, unless there are practical consequences--like with the buzzer example--I'm not sure you can really say anything. Just kind of blink at the person in surprise and not really respond otherwise. And of course be sure not to use it at all around them again. The novelty of it will probably wear off for them after a while, especially if it doesn't seem to have the desired effect of drawing them into your circle more.
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