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Author Topic: What do you mean by that?  (Read 14211 times)

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What do you mean by that?
« on: October 13, 2007, 09:44:29 AM »
I put this here because it's closest to the title of this section.

This phrase has always gotten good results for me, when I remember to use it. When someone says something that I percieve as a subtle insult, or a backhanded compliment, looking at them like I'm confused and saying "What do you mean by that?" either illicits sputters because they've been put on the spot to elaborate the fact that they've said something nasty, or they rearrange it, it they're quick enough, to mean something nice or unoffensive. And occasionally, it clarifies that I've taken something the wrong way, and they really were trying to be nice.

The downside to it is that a few times I've said it to someone who really thinks they are 'helping' by saying something I find offensive, and this phrase gives them an opening to 'preach' on the greatness of their advice or opinion. So you do have to be careful sometimes. If someone isn't alert enough to realize they've said an offensive thing, you might find yourself listening to a lecture.

Anyone else used it? What results did you get?


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Re: What do you mean by that?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2007, 10:03:32 AM »
I actually have used this line!
I was at a restaurant with my family when my grandpa noticed a very large man seated across the room. I could kind of see what was coming (Gpa likes to make comments about my mom's blouses doubling as tents for the rest of us  >:(). Gpa leans over to me and gestures toward the man, "Now that's what you call a wide load!" (laughing)  :o I asked "What do you mean?" And he just looked at me like I was stupid and went back to eating.


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Re: What do you mean by that?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2007, 12:23:57 PM »
What a coincidence! I used that line on my grandmother! Years ago my best friend and my family went to FL to stay w/my grandma. My BF and I were talking about her Homosexual Brother that came up HIV positive. The real bummer is, he gave it to a friend of ours before he came "out". So we were talking about what a shame it was that this had to happen (this was before the "cocktail" was discovered. about 15 years ago.) My Gma freaked out and began to rant that HIV will never have anything to do with her or her family and we shouldn't be discussing it in her house. Well, I asked her what she meant by that, and she <gulp> made some very horrific anti gay and Racist remarks that I will not repeat. Unfortunately the line didn't work, but when I looked her in the eye and said "Gma, what if one day I have to have a blood transfusion or something and I get Aids?" Well, that Shut her up, and she walked out of the room.
Score 1 me, 2,000,000 for Gma. (She's a Snarky old lady)