Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Words and Phrases - a Continuing Series

I am beginning to think that “with all due respect” is one of the most aggressive phrases in the English language. Any rival suggestions or opposing views, welcomed, (with, naturally, all due respect).


  1. I find it hard to imagine those words spoken in a New York accent, which for me tends to disqualify them for most aggressive. (And if I'm being unfair to to other accents, sorry, but I'm limited in my scope of comparisons.)

    The phrase seems to me to serve a purpose when the person addressed is owed respect and can inflict penalties when it is not offered: a military superior, a ship's officer, and so on. Then it provides cover for unwelcome truths or opinions. Between social equals I suppose it could be idle, or the warning that there is no respect at all about to be offered.

    1. How interesting - you've made me realise it is an Anglo aggression, which reminds me of the adage that only an English person can say the word "Really" in fifteen different ways. If we meet up again one day, I'll demonstrate

  2. "With all due respect" is an introduction to a tirade, and best interpreted by the listener as "I respect neither nor your viewpoint but still think this phrase makes me seem polite".

  3. I do agree - and the result,is,that it comes across as a verbal punch in the nose