You must have heard someone say, “I want to thank you for blah, blah.”

Or, “May I  take this opportunity to just say blah, blah, blah?”

Why don’t they just say, “Thank you for blah, blah” or, even more simply, “Blah, blah.”

If they want to say it, why don’t they just say it?

A small but crucial distinction must be drawn between “I want to say blah, blah” and “I’m just saying blah, blah.” The latter, heard often in spousal conversation, is a reflexive/defensive technique, allowable in all circumstances where a husband has ventured an opinion that has identified him as the bonehead his wife always knew he was.

“I’m just saying blah blah” is a sort of respectable verbal retreat, to which a typical beloved might reply, “You’re just saying you have no idea what you’re talking about.”

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