...I'm not sure why I say that all the time. This week's gripe is something I do. A lot. I think it's annoying, but I can't stop.
I tend to start and end sentences with "to be honest" more often than I should. Although it's not really wrong, per se, the phrase does carry implications. If I'm being honest now, am I lying every other time I speak? In what context would it be okay to say it?
Oh! I've got one: your boss. Sometimes you have to hold your tongue with superiors—it's a respect thing—but every once and a while you need to be frank. For example, if the company you worked for was about to release a children's toy with sharp removable choking hazards, well....
"To be honest, boss, I don't think this is a good idea. We market to very young children, and I just don't see how we could justify action figures from The Wire. And did their knives and guns really need to be removable?"
Other than that, it really doesn't make sense. We should all strive to be honest as much as possible, and imply the phrase instead of saying it.
But it might be pretty difficult, to be honest.
With special thanks to my girlfriend, Ashley Field, who suggested I write this and hates that I say it.