I get it

“I get it” has become a badly overused phrase over the last decade. It has really started to grate on my nerves. There’s a podcaster I particularly enjoy in general who is in danger of driving me away with his constant I-get-it-ing.

I get it, it can be a useful softening or deflection, a way of marking out common ground, of acknowledging an objection. Used sparingly, it’s a nice way of expressing empathy or respect, and building consensus one conversational brick at a time. That’s good stuff.

Overuse sucks the meaning out of it and turns it into a reflexive pre-emptive strike, a way of summarily dismissing objections before making your own point. It telegraphs dis-respect almost as loudly as “with all due respect.” Use it more than once in a conversation and you might as well just start saying “I neither get nor care about your point, I just want you to think I do before I make mine. Now, as I was saying…”