You just don’t get it, do you.

After each of these, came exposition disguised as an argument.

Hypothesis: “You just don’t get it, do you,” is the “As you know, Bob” of our generation.


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6 thoughts on “You just don’t get it, do you.”

  1. I’m going to have to go do a draft search now and excise any chance of that from my writing.

    It’s interesting, at first it doesn’t seem that bad. Just something people say too much, but not always followed by a lot of heavy-handed lines. After 8 minutes of it, it’s like it works as a signpost for plot or character change, rather than actually layering in development and progression. ‘Character has been told he doesn’t get it. Gets it. Character acts differently now.’

  2. Today I have made a solemn vow to never use that phrase in my writing. Watching that video was just painful. About halfway through the video it started to just feel like lazy writing. No one could be bothered to think of a different way of presenting the required plot/character information. Most of the time they couldn’t be bothered to try and find a different way of saying “You just don’t get it, do you?”. And no, I don’t consider adding profanity in there a different way of saying it.

    So yeah, lesson learned.

    Yesterday David Farland’s “Kick in the Pants” was about using the phrase “and now, back to the story” as a kind of apology/acknowledgement that the writer had gotten off track and is now returning to the actual story without the bother of editing the thing into a workable format. He said stories that use that phrase get rejected almost immediately.

    So I was wondering, Mary, have you found any other phrases that are big red flags like these?

  3. Hollywood writers just don’t get it, do they? So, let’s pay attention to our natural speech. Have we learned this cliche from Hollywood, or has Hollywood learned it from us?

  4. I’m trying to think if I have heard anyone use this to me or near me in speech. Ever.

  5. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say this — and I’ve never said this — in real life. What’s almost as painful as hearing it repeated, over and over, in film after film, is witnessing how many really great actors (Samuel L. Jackson, Stanley Tucci, Jeremy Irons [although he appears to be reading a letter, so he has an opportunity to make it sound purposely stilted], John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Val Kilmer, Sean Penn, William Devane, Dennis Hopper [twice!]) were made to deliver it.

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