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I Mean



I mean, I'm sure I'm not the first person who's noticed this, right? I mean, everyone's saying it, right? I mean, everyone! Even Megan Draper in the 1960s is saying it. Did you notice? I mean, it was only once, a couple episodes ago, not last night's. But, I mean, she said it! She woke Don up to tell him she wanted to pursue her acting career and quit the agency. And suddenly, I mean... And it was the literal usage, as in "What I mean is..." it was the modern-day equivalent of ummmm or what the French might call, ehhhhhhhh. And you know it wasn't in the script. She just said it because that's what modern-day actors/real people say today. And no one, not the editors or producers or directors caught it. Or if they did, the rest of the take was perfect so they just figured, no one is going to notice, right? I mean, why would they?

I mean, what's going on folks? When did I mean take over from like as the most-used meaningless word of the times and are we all okay with this? I mean, like was less intrusive, wasn't it? I mean, like, it was, wasn't it?

The comments are now open below. I mean, go ahead and discuss amongst yourselves. Really. I mean, I mean it.

I recall this being common back in the seventies. And the reason I recall it was that it was one of the uses of English that teachers always picked kids up on.

So, no it's not the modern idiom, it's been around for decades.
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Nothing about Joan saying "It is what it is" a couple of episodes ago? I don't really mind the language anachronisms they have every so often. But this one made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. In a bad way.
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@Nelly - all the way through? In a 23 minute song, he says it maybe 6 times for a total of 8 seconds. If the phrase "I mean" were as prevalent in the '60s as it is today, you'd have heard it aout 300 times in a song 23 minutes long.
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I mean, it's as bad as like, listening to any NPR interview, ya know? I mean, those, like, people they find to talk to, they like talk like they never formed, like, a sentence before today, ya know?

When did the, ya know, period at the end of each sentence become a verbal sound, ya know?
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Not sure about all that but has anyone noticed Megan Draper or Jessica Paré had a topless scene in the 2010 film Hot Tub Time Machine? Yep. Its all there guys.
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If you listen to Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie - 1960s - you can hear him using I mean, I MEAN, as emphasis all the way through.
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BTW...if you want to kvetch about a recent and egregious anachronism, try this past week's MAGIC CITY episode (which takes place just before the 60s), in which a worried Jeffrey Dean Morgan says, "I'm freaked" (shorthand for "freaked out").
This usage of the word "freak" comes out of its use FIRST as an epithet for hippie-long-hair-druggie types circa post-1966.
Shame on you, STARZ.
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This usage of "I mean" has been around for many decades, if not longer.
Once again a case of someone "who just got here" telling those of us "who have been here a while," the way it is.
Exactly how old are you, David?
Because...you got it wrong again, Daddy-O!
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Speaking of verbal crutches from the past, I like "haul off" and "turn around." As in, "I hauled off and spit-shined my penny loafers." Or, "I turned around and gapped my spark plugs this morning."
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It's not any worse than when every academic in the country was saying, "sort of" in every sentence. I mean, like, "we have this sort of malaise in this country."

And it's better than listening to my uncle who asks, "Yunnastan what I'm sayin'?" so often that there's nothing to understand between one repetition of the phrase and the next. Yunnastan what I'm sayin'?
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There is a ring of hell set aside for the people -- often political pundits -- who use the word "look" without pointing towards Godzilla or a stamp collection. Perhaps we should also allow in the "I mean" people, for the variety.
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Yes, I've noticed EVERYONE saying "I mean" at the beginning of their sentences for months now. It drives me absolutely bonkers. I hate it. It's seems to be the new thing to say that took over from "It is what it is" and "it's so surreal".

Argh!
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it's in vogue now? I mean, I've been using that phrase since I was little. To which I would get scolded promptly with "No you're not mean"
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