I was recently blocked from a nation for offering up a snarky post that the Administrator found personally insulting. Ironically, the nation in question tends to be a veritable refuge for trolling, consistently contributing far less-than-salient commentary to Vine discussions in which it participates, but I'm not complaining about the expurgation. As such hypocrisy isn't the least bit surprising, ol' dwillie isn't throwing any pity party as I've been thrown out of far better places. If Newsvine ever got around to giving us the ability to put nations on ignore, the nation I've described would go in that list immediately. Of course, this might beg a question in your mind and it's a good one. If I'm so indifferent to a particular nation, then why did I go in and comment there in the first place, particularly when I and the poster/Administrator to whom I was responding are not-invite-them-items anyway? The answer: Because a post in that nation contained one of my top three language pet peeves and I just couldn't help myself from responding. I've posted before regarding other language infractions and the post I addressed gave me an opportunity to once again scratch an English itch. That someone who revels in dishing out gibes is hypocritically goes all hinky over it is a bonus.
The infraction you ask? The post in question began with the clause "I got to be honest". Of course, there are variations on this thought including "honestly", or "to be honest with you", or "allow me to be honest with you". When someone says something like this, does it beg the same kinds of questions for you that it does for me? Questions like: Has this person not been honest with me before? Will this person give me a similar warning if/when they lie? Should I question the veracity of anything this person has to say if they don't include the tee-up clause that says what they being honest with what follows next? Does the declared honesty extend only to that immediately following sentence and no further? What if the immediately following statement is an obvious prevarication? Are we now to assume that anytime a particular person begins with a tee-up regarding their honesty that what is to come will be a lie? In short, the phrase creates more rhetorical issues than it addresses which in my book makes it pretty useless as a tee up line. I'm happy to find that I'm not the only one who reacts this way to "I gotta be honest". The Urban Dictionary describes it as:
an incredibly over-used refuge for the inarticulate to make a point of statement. Can be used in any sentence as long as you agree with yourself.
From another source:
Honesty is something you automatically trust is given and received. To start a sentence this way implies you are not honest the rest of the time. It also implies that up until that point you haven’t been honest but want others to accept what you are about to say as truth. We choose the words we use to communicate with the intention that it will leave an honest impression. So it makes sense then, to say what you mean and trust that being authentic is all we need to get our point across.
~ Anna (http://www.annaagas.com/annas-blog/to-be-honest)
While there are times when the phrase can be apropos, anyone who wants to sound credible should perhaps consider using "to be honest" sparingly. For those who are habitually anything but honest, such a phrase is nothing more than a warning to question the veracity of what comes next.