1000 Things We Hate #185: I Don’t Know

19 09 2011

It should be common knowledge that there are many phrases that annoy the hell out of me like Otay, This is True, or others.  There was one today in class that bothered the hell out of me.  It was something that I had never really noticed before because apparently I am incredibly ignorant over how people talk.  Since then, though, I HAVE HEARD IT A DOZEN TIMES… or so.

The phrase being the deadly, insecure “I don’t know.”  Well, what does this mean!?  Apparently, it means that you don’t know something, but it goes deeper than that.  The most infuriating case is when someone raises their hand in class, get called on, and then go “Uh… I don’t know… but the economic instance of tourism may be because…” so on and so forth.  They make “I don’t know” basically into a prepositional phrase.

Now, I do not want to get into the debate (at least online) about whether or not we actually know things.  Is truth absolute?  Or do we just believe things?  I’m coming from a constructionist point of view where truth is contingent upon the people.  Nevertheless, the phrase “I don’t know” irks me.

I suppose it bothers me mostly because the person starts out by saying “I don’t know” and then CONTINUOUS ON TO MAKE A STATEMENT SHOWING THAT THEY, INDEED, KNOW SOMETHING.  It’s like you’re shooting your foot before running a marathon.  Honestly, it makes you seem completely unsure of yourself and takes away from your valuable addition to the discussion.  Now, there are some others of these out there (like “You know what I mean?”) that may be covered at some point, but this one seems to solidify how unsure of yourself you must be.  Can you not make a statement and believe in it?  Are you a genius masquerading as  a fool or the other way around? …Or, do you just need to get shot in the face with silly string!?

Your comments can be valuable and add to the discussion, but just make sure that you’re not undermining yourself before you even begin your point.  It just pains me to hear it… and, well, I think you’re less valuable… like sand… in the Sahara.


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5 responses

29 09 2011
lercomari

lol. I never considered it, but you have a point. 🙂

12 10 2011
1000 Things We Hate #19: Ending Sentences with “You Know” « MechanisticMoth

[…] check out something intrinsically link, oh, I don’t know, follow the […]

11 11 2011
1000 Things We Hate #201: Etc. «

[…] I have a problem with words and phrases such as: the skinning the cat phrase, the you know phrase, I don’t know, otay, the -gate suffix, the Monday excuse, and many […]

18 11 2011
1000 Things We Hate #202: I Know, Right « 1000 Things We Hate

[…] seem to be my enemy.  To check out more you can read: Skinning Cat Phrase, I Don’t Know, This is True, Otay, and […]

22 03 2012
Charlie

The only time i think: ‘I don’t know.’ Should be used is after you think carefully about what ever it is your being asked.

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