We all have those verbal tics, those vocal pauses, that fill our empty spaces between thoughts. For some, it's "ummmmm..." For others, it might be "it's like, you know..."
A colleague leads into many explanations with this phrase:
"To tell you the truth..."
as in "To tell you the truth, I never thought of that" or "To tell you the truth, my family hasn't been to Silver Bells since '02."
When anyone (except one cousin) is speaking to me, I do not assume everything they say is a lie. On the contrary, I assume what you say to me to be the truth. Why would I think you were making up and propagating a story about your feelings toward certain sandwiches? ("To tell you the truth, I've never liked the Blimpie Best.") Would you lead me astray on your thoughts regarding dangling modifiers? ("To tell you the truth, most people don't even worry about them any more.")
I am your friend. You do not need to act as if you're letting me in on your secret life. Maybe you are hoping that by sharing so much truthiness, we will become closer. Maybe, I am emotionally aloof and should open up more... and your truth-telling is an attempt at bonding.
OK, this has to stay between me and you.
On the DL.
On the QT.
To tell you the truth, this blog post is not what I'd hoped. To tell you the truth, I wanted to do it on pluperfects. To tell you the truth, I don't know what a pluperfect is. To tell you the truth, I think you are pluperfect just the way you are. To tell you the truth, I am an idiot for every wanting to change you.
That's the truth.