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As you may or may not...? Options
The Diplomat
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 3:18:12 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/13/2014
Posts: 6
Neurons: 13,333
Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Hey hey everybody,

I had a little thought to myself recently. I was wondering if the term "as you may or may not know" is correct. Because while the first is correct, no doubt about it, but to say "as you may not know" seems a bit off to me. Am I the one who's crazy, or is this expression meant to be used as a whole, and not two distinct parts?
Crawdaddy
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 3:27:03 PM
Rank: Member

Joined: 10/25/2014
Posts: 136
Neurons: 2,057
It is an expression complete within itself (one expression, not two). It simply means that I am about to tell something you already know, or perhaps you don't know, but I'm going to tell you anyway.
Miriam...
Posted: Friday, November 28, 2014 9:09:07 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/20/2012
Posts: 1,032
Neurons: 12,634
Very good explanation, Crawdaddy. I like it!:)
Romany
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 6:25:25 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,073
Neurons: 54,674
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Diplomat -

I think you were right in your unease with this phrase.

Although, as Crawdaddy explained, the phrase is complete as is, it is often used in a patronising or contemptuous way. And it's the "you may not know..." bit that allows it to be used like that.

e.g. "As you may, or may not know, cars drive on different sides of the road in England and France." The average reaction of someone on hearing that would be to think:"Well DUH! How stupid do you think I am? As if I didn't know that."

More tactfully, in BE, we would be more inclined to say "As you know, cars drive on different side....". Thus, if you DO know, it's an inclusive statement, if you don't know you can either say "Oh? Well actually, I didn't know that." or just keep quiet and pretend, as some people like to!

But you DON'T come out of the exchange feeling you've been patronised.
excaelis
Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 6:36:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/30/2010
Posts: 10,965
Neurons: 32,652
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I retract my proposition on another thread that crawdaddy and striker may be the same poster. My apologies, crawdaddy.
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