Thinking and talking

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sat Aug 9 18:37:03 EDT 2003

Then there's my husband, who is still trying to live down the time he was babbling semi-randomly at a party, caught himself and said, "Oh, excuse me, I'm just talking aloud."

I like that. I once tried to make a collection of similar phrases, as in:

"There's none so blind as those that cannot see."

"Don't eat with your mouth full!"

And - slightly different but somehow still my favourite because it has the rare and precious property of conflating not two but three different expressions:

"The pennies dropped from my eyes"

That example prompted someone else to give me another of the same type (said of a losing sports team):

"They have a right to hang their heads high"

On the 'John thought in his head' type of phrase, one similar redundancy I have always found unreasonably irritating (not least in student essays) is: 'It is interesting to note that...' Which makes me want to cry 'No!' you mean "It is interesting that..." The act of noting is not interesting, it is the thing itself which is!'

I realise I may need help.

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