Analysis: With Due Respect

Why is it whenever someone says "with all due respect", they really mean "kiss my ass"?

Effectively, there are four explanations for this:

  • First, the phrase is being used ironically. They say "With Due Respect", but they don't mean it.

  • Second, it is being used as a half-hearted attempt to soften the blow, and hopefully avoid some of the retribution they would receive for just out-and-out insulting or contradicting someone in a situation where it would not be recommended to do so.

  • Third, they mean it literally, and are implying that there is no respect due to whoever they are addressing.

  • Fourth, they mean they normally do respect the person they're talking to, but disagree with one specific decision or statement that person made.

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