I had an encounter this week with an academic who concluded his email with, “I wish you well.” I knew he meant the exact opposite.
We’ve all heard them, those euphemisms with subtexts that tell a completely different story. I asked my Facebook friends to share their faves. Here are a few:
- I wish you well – Drop dead.
- With all due respect – I don’t respect you.
- I don’t disagree – I totally disagree.
- I respect your opinion – but it’s totally wrong.
- No pun intended – Did ya get the pun?
- Per my previous email – You idiot, you’re not reading my emails.
- Not to be a wet blanket – I’m about to totally trash your idea.
- I’ll do it without further delay – Be prepared for me to miss another deadline.
- Thanks for sharing – TMI or Too much information.
- That’s nice (or) Isn’t that special – It’s not of any interest to me.
- I beg to differ – Let me tell you how you’re wrong.
- So at the end of the day – I’ve talked way too long and could have saved us all time by just saying this brief summary.
- I don’t mean to interrupt / Not to change the subject – I’m about to change the subject.
- It’s a pleasure working with you – I hate working with you.
- Sorry – Not Sorry.
- Are we good? – Better do it my way or there will be trouble.
- It goes without saying – I’m about to say it anyway.
- You’re doing just great – I have no idea what you’re doing. Perhaps you should update your resume.
- I just heard that… – I’m making this up on the spot.
- Many people are saying – Nobody is saying it, but it’s my personal opinion and you had better buy into it.
- Bless your heart – This can have two meanings, depending on what the eyes say. It’s either a sincere blessing or an invitation to F-off.
I was compelled to write back to my back-covering academic to say, “You wish me well? You’re blowing me off.” But I’m known for taking the high road and remembered some long-ago learned wisdom. “If they don’t get you, they don’t get to have you.”
So at the end of the day… I wish him well.