Culture 20 December 2010 What they say and what they mean A little guide to what some people (on the internet and elsewhere) say and what they actually meant. Print HTML "So let me get this right" – Let me deliberately get this wrong, reducing all arguments to absurd oversimplification. "Just saying" – I'm not "just saying"; but if you take offence at this barbed comment I will act all surprised and horrified. I am, after all, just saying! "No offence" – I mean quite a considerable amount of offence. "I'm not racist . . ." – I am racist. "Don't take this the wrong way" – as anything other than an insult. "But will you also condemn XX atrocity by YY?" – Look, the brown bastards are WORSE than whitey. "You wouldn't be as keen to criticise Muslims, would you?" – Look, the brown bastards are WORSE than whitey. "Funny you didn't mention incident ZZ, which also happened recently . . ." – Look, the brown bastards are WORSE than whitey. "A deafening silence from you on that one" – Because you fail to mention something irrelevant and obscure, this means you are a hypocrite. "I thought you were meant to be a liberal" – I hate liberals, but if liberals don't react in a way in which I assume liberals, whom I hate, should react, I can say they're hypocrites. "So much for freedom of speech!" – Since you refused to print my pointless inflammatory racist comment, you are the bad guy. "Of course, you can't say it nowadays" – Because some people think racism is a bad thing, or something, it's become disgracefully socially unacceptable to just go around being a racist. "At last, someone brave enough to tell the truth" – At last, a bigot saying something bigoted in public. "If you took off your PC rose-tinted glasses for a minute" – and popped my jaundice-tinted, bigoted specs on, you'd see things as I do. "Nice post, but what about XXX?" – What about something entirely unrelated, which I can try and engage you with in abysmal circular discussion for about 55 years? "This post is biased" – And so am I, but my bias is the nice, allowed kind, while yours is the evil, bad sort. "This blog post isn't objective" – Unlike my trolling comment underneath, obviously; and yes, I have wilfully misunderstood the idea of a lot of blog posts. Feel free to add your own examples below. › CommentPlus: pick of the papers Patrolling the murkier waters of the mainstream media Subscribe More Related articles The New Statesman's Fundamenta-list: the zeitgeist, then and now How Jo Brand found comedy in the world's most thankless job: social work Why is Britain falling out of love with Valentine’s Day?