Max Antonucci

Journalist turned Full-time Coder, Part-time Ponderer

Don't Just 'Start a Conversation'

February 06, 2018
  • “I’m just trying to start a conversation.”
  • “I’m just saying.”

These are two phrases I’ve heard before. I hope we don’t hear them at all, since they make no sense.

Think about it - when has anyone said anything for no reason? The only examples I can think of are when people mumble incoherent gibberish. For normal words that have meaning (which is all words), their meaning is embedded with the reason for saying them. Only words that mean nothing have no reason to be said.

Why would someone use these phrases? My first guess is they don’t know any words and really were speaking gibberish, and through sheer coincidence it formed coherent words. This has only been true with one person I talked to. We were discussing pineapples.

For everyone else, they use this phrase when they want to say something and avoid the consequences. It’s easy to say something offensive or inappropriate, see people get upset, then add “I’m just saying!” They want to argue while sidestepping any counterarguments.

This is the same as saying “I’m arguing for this, but if you disagree, you shouldn’t argue with me.” Which is, as you can tell, cowardly.

So to everyone who does this, if you really are “just saying” something, I’m going to “just ignore” you. When you want to stand by what you say and believe, maybe I’ll consider you worth listening to.

I’m just saying.