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What They Say and What They Mean

  • What they say: “It could be one of several things.”
    What they mean: “I haven’t the foggiest idea what’s wrong with you.”
  • What they say: “Are you sure you haven’t had this before?”
    What they mean: “Because you’ve got it again.”
  • What they say: “I’d like to run that test again.”
    What they mean: “The lab lost your blood sample.”
  • What they say: “Insurance should cover most of this.”
    What they mean: “You’ll have to sell your house to cover the rest.”
  • What they say: “These pills have very few side effects.”
    What they mean: “You may experience sudden hair growth on your palms.”
  • What they say: “Why don’t you go over your symptoms with me one more time.”
    What they mean: “I don’t remember who you are.”
  • What they say: “There’s a lot of this going around.”
    What they mean: “And we’ll give it a name as soon as we figure out what it is.”

David Grimes in Sarasota Herald-Tribune, quoted in Reader’s Digest, May, 1994, p. 112

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