Oh no – not “You Betcha!”

Posted on October 9, 2008. Filed under: writing | Tags: , , |

We all have words or phrases we overuse. Or use in certain circumstances.

I used to use “You bet!” or “You betcha!” for those moments when I am agreeing but have reservations. And not “the good kind” of reservations that come with menus and waiters.

Usually, I say it if I’m trying to feign enthusiasm, either to bolster another’s energy or my own. When I say, “you bet” I’m trying to be supportive but I have my private doubts.

Which now have gone public, now that I’ve blogged about it.

After all, if you smile enough, you might make yourself happy. At least, that’s what conventional wisdom sez.

So, if I exude a positive attitude with a cheery “you bet!,” I can be supportive with a bit of energy.

People like it. I look like less of a crumudgeon. Win-win. Especially when I’m working one-on-one.

Now vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has made it sort of her wanna-be superhero catchphrase. “You betcha!” — with a wink.

Imitator Tina Fey chirps that phrase and flashes that wink like a hyperactive flamenco dancer with castanets.

For the record, I don’ t do the wink. Besides, I think a wink is like the winky emoticon. That 😉 tacks on a “just kidding” to the previous statement. It lightens up the meaning of any previous statement.

I wouldn’t dream of using it when speaking about serious matters. Unless I’m engaging in serious tough talk and I don’t want to get flamed.

So, watching Palin do it makes me wonder. I know that I’m BS-ing when I chirp “You betcha!” at someone. Is she?


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

9 Responses to “Oh no – not “You Betcha!””

RSS Feed for Still-Untitled Blog Comments RSS Feed

i agree with you…the “you betcha” is not something that should come out of a VPs mouth. i understand it may be her common way for speaking. and the phrase itself isn’t bothersome. it just doesn’t sound very reassuring. and the you add the wink. now the wink either means “hey cutie” or “psyc!!!” her using it either way….huge turn off.

I find a little more gravitas from a VP candidate more reassuring than a “just folks” informality.

Thanks for stopping by, Josie.

I think it’s supposed to be a ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudge’ I’m just like you kind of catch phrase. It worked until about 1/2 way through the debate and then it felt patronizing and fake.
I loved Tina Fey in the Katie Couric interview on SNL last weekend when she made fun of Palin’s cutsieness. She exposed it for what it was, a come on.

yeah like they say a little goes a looooooooon way. i actually liked her in the beginning. you know the whole girl power thing. but at this point she APPEARS to be a little ditzy. i mean i know she isn’t dumb by any means of the word (she has accomplished a lot in her professional and personal life) but they way you present yourself really matters. especially when you are being looked at and criticized by an entire country.

Up until the economic crisis, I heard a lot of chatter on the street about how “she’s one of us.” (I can’t say that I want someone like me with access to The Red Phone.) Let alone someone who says “You betcha!” and winks.

yeah funny how that works. the american public has been screaming for a “just like me” candidate and now we have one and all we do is criticize.

It must be human nature. 🙂

In your case, you’re not really BSing, you’re trying to exude a positive reaction from yourself and your guest. In Palin’s case, I’d say she’s counting on it to distract from her nonsensical responses. The wink looked like a tick and the “gosh darns” and such sounded like schoolgirl lingo, not serious conversation from a VP candidate. Imagine the reactions if Hillary had winked at the cameras!


Thanks, Debora, for helping me feel less like a sleaze about “you betcha.” The idea of Hillary winking and “gosh darning” are so alien. Almost unimaginable.

I’ve been reading a book about body language. Palin may be a woman in power (and seeking more) but she uses a lot of submissive gestures in her speech and actions. And have we seen her in pants yet? (BTW: I found her Condi-Rice-in-Europe knee boots on SNL an interesting choice.) Still, she promotes her “I’m just like you” package.

Hillary, on the other hand, projects a business-like, “I’m smart and I can lead” vibe. She projects dominance, and I think a lot of people were not ready for that from a woman. Remember people seemed to like her more when she cried.

I dunno. This election is so rich in characters that we could discuss them endlessly.

Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: