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To cringe every time someone starts a line of advice with....

(15 Posts)
SneakyNinja Fri 05-Apr-13 09:17:19

Why don't you just......?

Smallest and most pointless pet peeve in the world I know!
Lately, whenever I hear it, all I can detect is a slightly patronising, passive/agressive tone ( not just towards me by the way, it grates just as much when I hear it said to others.

This is normally advice given by the blunt friend that "tells it like it is"
The "just" is usually something that is not a "just" at all, it is something that although probably the simplest solution has probably already been dismissed for being very difficult.

"Why don't you just ask him?"
"Why don't you just give her a bottle?"
"Why don't you just say No?"

These things MUST have already crossed the advice seekers mind, why make them feel stupid by stating the bleeding obvious.

Oh God how petty! Why don't I just have a brew and stop finding offence everywhere.....but I can't be the only one surely? blush

MardyBra Fri 05-Apr-13 09:18:30

Why don't you just chill out a bit OP?


MardyBra Fri 05-Apr-13 09:19:02

YANBU btw.

SneakyNinja Fri 05-Apr-13 09:20:55

That's the one!!!! Mardybra.


AThingInYourLife Fri 05-Apr-13 09:37:04

It's just the just.

Why don't you try swaddling him? = less annoying

But obviously still presumed you haven't tried.

Have you tried a nightlight? = better

I don't want people to be scared of offering suggestions, because I need them. grin

DumSpiroSpero Fri 05-Apr-13 09:39:57

I know what you mean, but imho the worst one is...

"You want to...blah blah blah..."

No, clearly I don't want to do it that way or I'd already be doing it. You are not in my head therefore you do not know what I want.

It is mostly my mum that does this. I love her dearly and she is an absolute rock in many ways but we are like chalk and cheese and when she starts a sentence like that I'm pretty much guaranteed to disagree with her.

Fenton Fri 05-Apr-13 09:42:35

AThing is right it's the 'just', it infers that the solution is simple and obvious and why on earth haven't you just done that.

Emilythornesbff Fri 05-Apr-13 09:44:03

It patronising and a bit dismissive.
"why don't you just ask him?" = I can't believe you haven't thought to ask him. It's so obvious. Stop wasting my time when.....

Face to face much better to use: "I wonder if it would be a good idea to as him. What do you think?"
However, on an on,one forum it's easiertotypethe first option. grin

Even if your typing's as bad as mine. grin

Backtobedlam Fri 05-Apr-13 09:48:43

People are trying to help and offer advice, why post on here if you don't want to hear it? It may seem obvious to you, but to someone else it might have taken weeks or it may be something they'd not thought of trying. Why be so picky? It's a shame when people are put off posting/replying because every word they write is going to be scrutinised and picked to pieces!

usualsuspect Fri 05-Apr-13 09:53:49

I agree Backtobedlam, there are so many threads criticising how people post, it's a wonder anyone bothers to post at all.

SneakyNinja Fri 05-Apr-13 09:55:53

It should only be acceptable in it's proper insulting context. I.e "Why don't you just Fuck off?" grin

AThingInYourLife Fri 05-Apr-13 09:58:13

I presumed this was about RL advice.

SneakyNinja Fri 05-Apr-13 09:59:19

It was athing That is what I meant anyway.

CarpeVinum Fri 05-Apr-13 10:20:09

because every word they write is going to be scrutinised and picked to pieces!

People react to the "chunks" of language of they read for a reason.

In terms of exponents for the function of making suggestions both the person proffering and the recipient know EXACTLY what the sub text is.

It may not be conscious, and they may not even be aware of the direct connection between their thrust and the "chunk" of language they have picked, but any wide eyed, innocent face when confronted with accusations of being snooty, patronising etc is disingenuous. "Just" is right up there as key element for revealing an underlying attitude.

There is a world of difference between

Do you think doing X might be something that could work for you ?


Why don't you just do X ?

If people don't want to have their advice regarded as snotty, know it all, dismissive and reeking of upownarseness then they need to dump the attitude that is controlling their language choices and their language choices will then shift without them having to even think about what they are saying.

usualsuspect Fri 05-Apr-13 10:35:02

Sorry, OP. I thought you meant on here. blush

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