Whenever I hear someone turn that phrase or its linguistic cousin, "I don't like to brag, but ..." I have to simultaneously laugh and cringe. Invariably, these phrases signal you are about to hear something incredibly rude or be forced to sit through a laundry list of minutiae behind someone else's success. I suppose the speakers believe all they have to do is preface their remarks with the qualification or disclaimer that they don't usually say such things, or they don't intend the outcome of their words, and then it's OK to say whatever is on their mind.


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