Date: Fri, 24 May 1996 12:03:19 -0400
From: Suzanne Cadwell scadwell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]EMAIL.UNC.EDU
Subject: "I was about to say"
I'm a doctoral student in Rhetoric & Composition at UNC-CH, a student of
Connie Eble's, and a year-long lurker on this list. Just within the past
year, I've noticed myself and a handful of others (including Prof. Eble!)
using "I was about to say" as a discourse marker or comment clause in
My working hypothesis, if one can even term it that, is that it is a
gesture of either:
1) informing the conversation partner that you had had the same thought
they have just expressed
2) a general statement of sympathy with the sentiments the conversation
partner had just expressed
I've only "caught" one man using the clause, who insisted that he uses it
only as an affectation.
Is this a recent phenomenon or am I just suddenly aware of it?