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Old December 9 2012, 10:47 PM   #288
Locutus of Bored
A Certain Point of View
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Re: Sayings that you hate now

trekkiedane wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
Another thing that's not really a saying but a reflexive habit: People accepting a compliment that's not really directed at them.

"You have a lovely wife."

"Thank you!"

Oh, did you design her yourself?
But, "You have a lovely wife." (and that sort of comment) is actually an insult!

The one saying it to you is expressing their disbelief in the fact that such a "lovely" woman would ever have anything to do with you...

The "Thank you"-response only shows that you also find it quite unbelievable that such a person would have anything to do with you -AND implies that you have (had?) some kind of special mojo that got her attention at the time...
Unless the person sounds incredibly shocked that even a lowly schlub could have a lovely wife and expresses that in an exaggerated way, or they're being obviously sarcastic about your wife being lovely and actually mean to imply the opposite, then I don't see what's insulting about it. It's just meant to be a polite compliment in her absence, essentially saying it was pleasant to meet her and that's she's a nice person.

What you're saying would render any kind of compliment an insult. Like saying "You have a nice car" implies that they're actually saying "How did a bum like you get a nice car?", when all they're trying to do is tell you you have a nice car, either to make polite small talk or to commend your good taste.

Nor does it imply that you had anything to do with making her a lovely person, to address scotpens' comment. It's either complimenting your good judgment in picking a lovely spouse or more likely again just trying to make polite small talk.
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
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