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Thread: Functional interpretation of "no offense"

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    Default Functional interpretation of "no offense"

    Sometimes people add "no offense" to the end of their sentences. Like "You look like George Bush. No offense".

    What function is it that makes you add it? I assume it is Fe or Fi thing (or just something not related to a function but to a cultural way of interacting).

    Anyways I dislike it when people do that. I always seem to take offense if "no offense" is said to me. Often times I don't find the actual sentence said to be offensive at all. I might even find it amusing. But then when you add "no offense" at the end it suddenly becomes offensive.

    What does it really mean when someone says "no offense"? Why do you add it there? Are you trying to be offensive, avoiding being offensive or perhaps trying to be defensive? In any case I find it unnecessary and ambiguous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diana View Post
    Depending on the person it usually means either:

    I'm about to/just have said something that I hope bothers you, but I'm going to pretend like it shouldn't bother you, because I'm being passive aggressive

    OR

    This is something I really want to say, but you'll probably take wrong, or you've just taken wrong I can tell by your face.
    Hmm. I seem to naturally interpret it the first way. I guess that's why I always take offense. The second interpretation is somewhat offensive too though as it is somehow patronizing. As in it assumes I can't handle what's being said or I can't interpret something on my own but need some softening or help (or something).

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    Quote Originally Posted by XoX View Post
    Sometimes people add "no offense" to the end of their sentences. Like "You look like George Bush. No offense".

    What function is it that makes you add it? I assume it is Fe or Fi thing (or just something not related to a function but to a cultural way of interacting).

    Anyways I dislike it when people do that. I always seem to take offense if "no offense" is said to me. Often times I don't find the actual sentence said to be offensive at all. I might even find it amusing. But then when you add "no offense" at the end it suddenly becomes offensive.

    What does it really mean when someone says "no offense"? Why do you add it there? Are you trying to be offensive, avoiding being offensive or perhaps trying to be defensive? In any case I find it unnecessary and ambiguous.
    I have a natural impulse to do that. But I try to control this urge while on line. Otherwise I would be adding a disclaimer to every single post I make.

    If you want an explanation, I think I do it because I want to perfectly convey what I meant. I guess you could say that I have learned that I simply cannot take anything for grated when it comes to mutual comprehension between me and most other people. I understand/comprehend/interpret something a certain way but the other person does it in a completely different manner so I have to make sure we are talking about the same thing, constantly.

    In terms of the expression "no offense", I do it, well something like it, when I notice the other person acting insulted. And when I say it I mean it, I don't say it when I meant offense. And if I do it naturally it's because I've learned that people get insulted when I tell them a certain thing but I still want to say it, regardless of their feelings, probably because it's right. Like say, when tone deaf people start singing in my presence. I mean no offense when I tell them that they are tone deaf, as I think they really are tone deaf, but they end up being insulted anyway. So I want to let them know that this is an impersonal assessment and not a personal insult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snegledmaca View Post
    I have a natural impulse to do that. But I try to control this urge while on line. Otherwise I would be adding a disclaimer to every single post I make.

    If you want an explanation, I think I do it because I want to perfectly convey what I meant. I guess you could say that I have learned that I simply cannot take anything for grated when it comes to mutual comprehension between me and most other people. I understand/comprehend/interpret something a certain way but the other person does it in a completely different manner so I have to make sure we are talking about the same thing, constantly.

    In terms of the expression "no offense", I do it, well something like it, when I notice the other person acting insulted. And when I say it I mean it, I don't say it when I meant offense. And if I do it naturally it's because I've learned that people get insulted when I tell them a certain thing but I still want to say it, regardless of their feelings, probably because it's right. Like say, when tone deaf people start singing in my presence. I mean no offense when I tell them that they are tone deaf, as I think they really are tone deaf, but they end up being insulted anyway. So I want to let them know that this is an impersonal assessment and not a personal insult.
    Completely agree.
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    I actually tend to use this in a humorous way a lot...
    Example: "no offense dude... but that's just plain stupid!?!?" When someone has done or said something that warrants that type of response.

    The few times I have said it to someone, it was being used in a constructive criticism type of way and really shouldn't be taken that badly. But yeah, some people using it as a way to be a dick to someone should be stabbed with a spork in the shoulder... if it's something bad that I just feel like saying... I just won't say it... what would that do other than start conflict where there is none already. If i do say something bad to a person... There's no need to sugar-coat it. Like telling Dee he's irritating... why would I put "no offense" on that... when I actually mean it?

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    Of course, this topic reminds me of a great part in that Will Ferrell movie where he tells his team owner no offense and tells him that he can say whatever he wants just by saying "no offense" before saying anything...lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by cracka View Post
    I actually tend to use this in a humorous way a lot...
    Example: "no offense dude... but that's just plain stupid!?!?" When someone has done or said something that warrants that type of response.
    It works better with me when it is done in that way because it seems "lighter" or something. When it is added after a very serious and honest sounding sentence it annoys me more.

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    "No Offense" is just a waste of a breath.
    "Those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities..."

    - Voltaire

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    Quote Originally Posted by snegledmaca View Post
    In terms of the expression "no offense", I do it, well something like it, when I notice the other person acting insulted. And when I say it I mean it, I don't say it when I meant offense. And if I do it naturally it's because I've learned that people get insulted when I tell them a certain thing but I still want to say it, regardless of their feelings, probably because it's right. Like say, when tone deaf people start singing in my presence. I mean no offense when I tell them that they are tone deaf, as I think they really are tone deaf, but they end up being insulted anyway. So I want to let them know that this is an impersonal assessment and not a personal insult.
    I see. Interesting. I approach this thing from a somewhat different perspective. E.g. if tone deaf people start singing in my presence I have three options a) leave the place (if I have no real reason to stay), b) suck it up (if the circumstances are such that pissing of these people would cause me enormous harm in the future) or c) Just tell them to stop singing or go somewhere else to sing because it sounds so horrible.

    I think there is a difference between how I and you want to be treated by others which is the root cause. I mean if someone doesn't like me singing they could just say "stop singing" instead of going through "you are tone deaf, no offense". It seems passive aggressive. If someone says to me "stop singing" it doesn't offend me. It gives me their clear and direct opinion and I have the option of stopping singing or confronting them about it. But it seems honest and non offensive and makes it clear how things are (Edit: I might get pissed though if I see that they are just being bitchy on purpose but still it is better than an ambiguous answer). However "you are tone deaf, no offense" makes it very hard for me to choose a proper reaction. I'm not sure what it means. First natural reaction is that it is some sort of name calling.

    But I try to keep in mind that people word the same thing differently depending on their functions. I need to stop and think before reacting. Yeh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XoX View Post
    However "you are tone deaf, no offense" makes it very hard for me to choose a proper reaction. I'm not sure what it means. First natural reaction is that it is some sort of name calling.
    I would act the same way sneg says, and in my mind I would leave to the tone deaf person the decision on what to do and if to change or not their behavior, based on what their aim is. I'd add no offense to a comment that I would like to be neutral in meaning, but that I think might be perceived as offensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    I would act the same way sneg says, and in my mind I would leave to the tone deaf person the decision on what to do and if to change or not their behavior, based on what their aim is.
    Why would you let a tone deaf person decide whether to sing or not in your presence

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    Quote Originally Posted by XoX View Post
    Why would you let a tone deaf person decide whether to sing or not in your presence
    I don't know why. It's the natural way I tend to act.
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    Quote Originally Posted by XoX View Post
    It works better with me when it is done in that way because it seems "lighter" or something. When it is added after a very serious and honest sounding sentence it annoys me more.
    same here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XoX View Post
    Sometimes people add "no offense" to the end of their sentences. Like "You look like George Bush. No offense".

    What function is it that makes you add it? I assume it is Fe or Fi thing (or just something not related to a function but to a cultural way of interacting).
    Sentences with "no offense" tacked on to the end of it are usually offense in themselves from my experience. It would be less offensive if the person never made the statement in the first place. So I'd think the people who use "no offense" might have weak F. Not sure if its more Fi or Fe related.
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    Quote Originally Posted by XoX View Post
    Sometimes people add "no offense" to the end of their sentences. Like "You look like George Bush. No offense".

    What function is it that makes you add it? I assume it is Fe or Fi thing (or just something not related to a function but to a cultural way of interacting).

    Anyways I dislike it when people do that. I always seem to take offense if "no offense" is said to me. Often times I don't find the actual sentence said to be offensive at all. I might even find it amusing. But then when you add "no offense" at the end it suddenly becomes offensive.

    What does it really mean when someone says "no offense"? Why do you add it there? Are you trying to be offensive, avoiding being offensive or perhaps trying to be defensive? In any case I find it unnecessary and ambiguous.
    If it's sincere, I take it to mean "I don't intend for you to take it personally" or something along those lines. It does seem to put one on guard though. A friendly grin is far more effective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by XoX View Post
    I see. Interesting. I approach this thing from a somewhat different perspective. E.g. if tone deaf people start singing in my presence I have three options a) leave the place (if I have no real reason to stay), b) suck it up (if the circumstances are such that pissing of these people would cause me enormous harm in the future) or c) Just tell them to stop singing or go somewhere else to sing because it sounds so horrible.
    I don't think I'd ever tell someone they were tone deaf to their face, even if I thought that. That would just be too insulting. Most likely I'd just suck it up but I if it really got to me, I might say something like your signing is distracting me and its making it hard for me to concentrate.

    I won't watch American Idol because of how brutally Simon criticizes others. I think some of his criticisms are probably just for effect but the whole concept of it disturbs me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by XoX View Post
    What does it really mean when someone says "no offense"?
    Lacking boldness or straightforwardness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joy View Post
    If it's sincere, I take it to mean "I don't intend for you to take it personally" or something along those lines. It does seem to put one on guard though. A friendly grin is far more effective.
    yep

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    I think saying "no offense" is offensive (or uncharismatic) to some because it seems to assume that what was said is something that the person otherwise would/should be offended by. Either the person saying is purposely saying something offensive or (s)he thinks that whatever's being said applies to the other person, such as saying "fat people are disgusting", then realizing that (s)he just said that in the presence of a potentially overweight individual and quickly adding "no offense".
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