Four little words that could go either way. In the beginning, this phrase/idiom meant to show respect to an individual while disagreeing with him. Such as, “With all due respect, Jonathan, he could not have robbed the store because he has been dead for 24 hours.” It is showing that I respect Jonathan but he does not have his facts correct.
Today, though, it can mean exactly the opposite by showing disrespect to a person. Such as, “With all due respect, you are a moron if you think that way.”
It seems to me that people have become very personal in extending their judgments on other people, thereby, attacking them. It certainly is found on Facebook. I may be different than most people because I take each word as literal, knowing either what the word means or willing to research its hidden meaning. If someone said “you are a moron”, then that would mean that person is very stupid, and psychologically that person could be labeled as having an intelligence quotient of between 50-69. That is the exact meaning of what a moron is — one who can only work with supervision. To me, using words such as “moron” is a vicious attack on another, unless, of course, you can prove the IQ numbers.
That is what “with all due respect” has evolved into.
The phrase was not meant to be interpreted in that negative way — in fact, quite the opposite. In my research about the phrase, the only reference I could find as to its origin was that the phrase came from the law courts. And the law courts have protocol where words are most important and one abides by the law by respecting those words. Once outside the courtroom, one person respected another person but wanted to cushion the following words of showing the listener an error in the facts. Mind you, not judgments but facts.
Finally, it is the fifth most irritating phrase used in the English language.
With that, I leave you with, “With all due respect, please be kind to one another instead of all this name calling I see on Facebook.”
Until Friday…have a good one…