One of my guilty pleasure's is watching Dateline's: To Catch a Predator. For me it's two fold. I love that the spotlight is being shown on such a disgusting aspect of the internet. These perverts need to be exposed and I'm so glad some of our local officials have made it a felony in some areas. There is also something very captivating about watching these sometimes normal (sometimes not of course) guys, errr.....IDIOTS, doing something they obviously know is wrong, yet their libido's have put their brain on the fritz (a phrase that was actually the final Jeopardy question, or is it answer, tonight, with the answer, or is it question, fitting with the final explanation in the link).
Something that almost every one of these imbecile's comes up with at some point in their subsequent interogations is a statement of innocence. And it almost always starts with "Honestly".
"Honestly, I didn't plan on giving any of this Mike's Hard Lemonade to this 13 year old girl, Honest"
"Honestly, I drove four hours from BFE to West Palm Beach and was only planning on talking with this 13 years old boy, even though I raced in the house like a dog in heat, Honest"
"Honestly, I didn't plan on having sex with this 14 year old girl. Oh, the Condoms? Honestly, I didn't plan on needing them, Honest"
I don't watch too much TV, but one of the other shows I like as well is Cops. They always have episodes filmed in King or Pierce Counties here in Washington. I have two cousins that have both made appearances on the show. Unlike most of you yahoos, my cousins are on the right side of the camera, County Sheriffs (although I have a few relatives who have probably made the other side, as we all do). My girlfriend's father is a Seattle Police Officer, as well, so I have a deep respect for the men and women that uphold the law.
Well wouldn't you know it, something similar happens when one of the stars of that show (on either side of the camera by the way) is finally ready to come clean. They begin by giving us an indication of their impending candor.
"Honestly officer, that crack in my purse isn't mine. Well yes it's my purse, but I swear, that crack isn't mine"
Often times followed by the officer responding with much the same honesty. "Let me be honest with you, you're going to be in jail for a long time and honestly we won't be able to get much for your car at auction"
When did it become necessary to preface upcoming statements with "honestly"?
I say it. (I'm going to make a real effort in the future not to, but I do now) I'm not a liar. One time I stretched the truth to benefit myself ("no honey, those jeans don't make you look fat")(wait, does saying I've only done it once make it twice, uh oh) but I certainly don't make a habit of telling people what they want to hear, or outright lying to people. All the same, I still find myself prefacing some of the statements I make with "honestly"
Shouldn't it go without saying? Well of course it should. Let's just assume that what is coming out of my mouth is the truth without me having to assure you.
There are a couple of reason I can think of for why people feel the need to let us know of their imminent honesty.
1. The topic being discussed has a lot of room for interpretation and a vast amount of information available for someone to consider. Mortgages are a great example of this. With all the information out there for a consumer to digest, you want them to know that the advice they are getting from you is credible. "Let me be honest with you, that other company may be able to get you 5%, but they are crooks.......(Honestly, I don't know what mortgage people say, haha). The majority of people who start off a sentence by declaring honesty, are probably in this boat. Not a bad boat to be in, but to me it just indicates that their are times when you aren't honest.
2. You have been less than honest with that same person in the past. If you have a history of dishonesty with someone, it might make you (and them) feel better to let them know up front what to expect from you. I can't recall a specific instance, but I'm sure this method was popular with our beloved former president, Bill Clinton. He was certainly less than honest with us in regards to a few things, and probably spent the last years of his presidency delivering speeches laden with "honestly". (Honestly, the same can probably be said about our current president, or politicans in general, but I digress......how about Obama, he seems like a straight shooter to me, I'll bet you don't hear him having to qualify what he says..........wait, further off topic)
3. You have been less than honest with other people about the same topic but really intend on being honest with this next person. This is one of which I have been guilty. Sometimes when dealing with and trying to motivate sales people, you stretch the truth just a tad to get it to fit with their goals and perceptions. There are some people that are not motivated by the fact that our leads have a 2% closing rate, they are too lazy to make 50 calls to close a deal. For them, "Honestly, most of our agents close these leads at about a 2% clip, but I think with your great sales skills, you can probably be somewhere in the 7-10% range."
4. You are about to lie. This is what the Predators and the perps are doing. "Honestly officer, I am about to lie to you, and I just wanted to let you know by starting off my declaration with the word that means the exact opposite of what I intend on doing"
(Don't worry though, if you finish it off with "I swear to God" then you will have successfully completed the lying double negative makes it a statement of fact routine and will no doubt be found innocent in a court of law)