Today I'd like to take a brief moment to consider a popular expression. Yes, I have another question. What is up with the expression "Tell me about it"?
When we use this expression it's usually after someone has finished telling us a story. It's a way of agreeing. Well, if you think about it, that person literally just finished "telling you about it". Do you really want to hear it again? Were you not listening the first time?
Moreover, if "tell me about it" is a way of stating your approval or understanding, why should someone have to tell you more. You obviously get it. Wouldn't adding more detail simply be repetitive? Maybe if you didn't understand, "tell me about it" would be a way of asking someone to expand on a particular point of their story, but even then, it's kind of an odd way of phrasing the request.
If "tell me about it" is a way of closing a conversation, well, that's kind of backwards isn't it? Not only is it a crappy way of acknowledging that the person has finished talking on that topic, you're giving them an instruction to continue talking. Obviously, they don't want to do that. I believe that's misreading a social cue. "No, I will not tell you more, I have finished and want to move on to a different topic." Worst date ever! The only way I can see "tell me about it" logically closing a conversation is if you're being sarcastic. That would probably also fit under the category of first date no-nos. (And I'm not talking about the hair removal system though I'm sure grooming is appreciated).
"Tell me about it" belongs at the beginning of a conversation. If you notice someone is sad you could be all sensitive and say: "Hey, I'm here if you want to tell me about it".
I suppose "tell me about it" is really just another way of saying "say no more" which is the complete opposite of what it means. So why do we use it this way? It makes no sense.If you don't want to hear about it, why are you asking to hear about it? Reverse psychology once more slips into the world... and apparently it works. What clever person slipped this expression into our daily vocabulary? Such a person truly has a way with words. I require him/her for my next world domination scheme!
If anyone knows anything about the origin of this expression, feel free to tell me about it. See! I used it properly. I actually want to know! By the way, this is what spending four years at university studying English did to me. We're told all the time to pay attention to diction. Well in the real world outside of books, diction is messed up. Messed up I tells ya!
So, ponder that and if you're so inclined, share your thoughts with me.