As You Know

As you know, it’s been awhile since I ranted about language.  So here is something I really despise, the phrase “as you know” and all of its variants: “as you well know,” “as you now know,” and “as you should know.”

I saw it yesterday in an online post by a college age writer who used the phrase three times in the course of a 500 word piece.  I’m not a fan of any repeated phrase but this one especially irked me.  When a writer says, “as you know,” one of two things is true.  Either 1) the writer is correct and the reader knows the information or 2) the writer is wrong and the reader doesn’t know the information.

Let’s assume the writer is correct, then the following phrase is completely unnecessary.  Why would you want to tell me something I already know? Is the writer really that inconsiderate?  Are you trying to bore me? Waste my time?  It’s one thing to write something boring.  Every writer does it.  Some (myself) more often than others.  It’s another thing to know you’re being boring and decide to continue.  It’s a phrase like “I’m about to say something stupid.”  It’s best to hold your tongue, but even omitting the “something stupid” phrase is better.  That way other stupid people don’t know you’re stupid.

Let’s assume the writer is incorrect, then the phrase really only serves to inform the reader that he or she is stupid. It’s basically like saying, “I assumed you would know this. Everyone else does.”  

Don’t use “as you know.”  As you now know, it sucks.

Posted in Language, Writing.

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