Posted by Smokey Stover on November 29, 2007
In Reply to: Don't look at me in that tone of voice... posted by C.G. on November 28, 2007
: Have you ever heard the phrase "Don't look at me in that tone of voice, you mean what I know" and know what it means?
Your phrase sounds exactly like something that Groucho Marx might say, but I can't confirm that he did say it. The sentence is a deliberate mixture of three clichés, with humorous intent. Don't look at me that way. Meaning: stop with the disapproval communicated by your facial expression. Don't use that tone of voice with me! Alternatively, Don't talk to me in that tone of voice / Don't take that tone of voice witih me. Meaning: your tone of voice (perhaps loud) indicates your disapproval; I reject your right to be disapproving. You know what I mean. Meaning: you're putting the wrong interpretation on my words / I may not have expressed myself clearly, but you know what I want to say.