Do You Know What I Mean?

Bloggified by Jake on Saturday, January 3, 2009

The phrase "do you know what I mean?" indicates subtext. It means "I just said something, but there's more to it if you read between the lines, catch my drift, or smell what I'm cooking."

It does not mean--and I'm looking at you Lee Michaels, and no, I'm not above dragging a one hit wonder who hasn't made a blip on the music scene since before I was born and who's given up the music scene to run a chain of shrimp restaurants through the mud--"I could only think of a dozen lines for this song, so I'll fatten it up by confirming with the listener every line that I haven't lost them."

Been forty days since I don't know when
Really? This is how you open your story? Do some friggin' research, man! The fact you know it's been 40 days tells me you could grab a calendar, count backward seven weeks, and give me a pretty good idea of when.

I just saw her with my best friend
Do you know what I mean?
Do you know, know what I mean?

This is where subtext enters. Do I know what you mean about what? What is "do you know what I mean?" supposed to indicate is not as it seems. Did you, in fact, see her with your best friend? Did you see them doing something, like you walked in on them having sex? Did you "saw" her like you cut her in half and you're confessing? Is your "best friend" your penis? Because on the surface, it just seems like you saw some girl with your best friend and there's nothing deeper than that. And I still have no idea what that has to do with whatever happened 40 days ago.

What I'm saying is you're three sentences into your story (four if you count repeating the third one with a stutter) and already you've lost my interest.

I just saw her yesterday
I just saw her, asked her to stay
Do you know what I mean?
Lord, Do you know what I mean?

Again, did you not see her? Because if you saw her yesterday, asked her to say, and that's all there is to it, you should move along with the story.

Her and Bobby were steppin' out
Her and Bobby didn't know I found out
Do you know what I mean?
Do you know, know what I mean?

So I asked her if she still cared
She didn't hear me, she just stared
Do you know what I mean?
Lord, Do you know what I mean?

Christ, English is my first language! You don't need to keep slowing down and making sure I follow your train of thought. It's not like you're Chaucer and we need to stop and translate "Her and Boebbe was ravyshed oute, it woot thoust?" Get on with your crappy, repetitive song!

Look, I'd keep repeating this joke, but unlike certain shrimp purveyors I could name I know when a premise has run its course... if you know what I mean.

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