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"having said that..."

Posted by Smokey Stover on June 24, 2005

In Reply to: "Having said that..." posted by R. Berg on June 21, 2005

: : : : : : I do not understand why and when we use the phrase "having said that..." What does it mean and when is it used. Please do provide me an example. Thank you :)

: : : : : When we say it: when we make a bold assertion, or an assertion that might be taken as bold, and we wish to soften the impact lest we seem too absolute. It's an example of (false?) modesty, a way to hedge your bets, not unlike "on the other hand...."
: : : : : Having said that ... there may be other uses fro the phrase. I didn't mean to seem all-inclusive....

: : : : The present participle, whether used adjectivally or not, has to refer to a noun or pronoun that it modifies. In this case, the referent is almost always the subject, as in "Having said that, I left the room before she could slap my face." "Having said that, she left the room in a huff." (In this sentence, it is she, not I, that said that.) The same principle exists for most verbs. All that is required of the noun or pronoun is that they be the correct one. That is, they can be used as a participial adjective. "Giving it my all, I managed to push him off me." "Giving" modifies "I". Giving off clouds of smoke, the car turned the corner. Giving modifies car. Shaking off the rice, the bride stepped into the car. Trailing several strings of cans, the car carrying the wedding couple clattered down the road. SS

: : : Put parentheses around "All that is required ... correct one." In the next sentence, they (that is, participial adjectives) can be used.... Careless, careless, Smokey! SS

: : Having gotten carried away by the grammar of the thing, I neglected to provide an example of the sort that jen and Bob were talking about. So herewith: "The club's rules are so much rotten, stinking tripe. Having said that, I urge the members to obey them meticulously, in the hope that soon we can agree to change them." Or, "Having said that, he urged caution in changing them." Someone has to be the subject. But there's a way out. "This having been said, the membership filed out." Or: "The Midwest is losing topsoil at the rate of, say, the top inch of all of Rhode Island every year. This having been said, there's still no reason to fear a dearth of corn or soybeans any time soon." Or even: "War is hell, no doubt about it. But, this said, we have to admit that for a lot of people it's just plain fun." In these examples, "This having been said," and "This said," act pretty much like the ablative absolute in the language used by those ancient Romans. Being "absolute," the expression doesn't have to agree with any referent in the main or any other clause, although there ought to be some connection in the overall meaning. SS

: I often see "That said," in place of "This having been said,"
: used as Smokey describes. --rb

An example spoken by a real person (from Time magazine): "Predicting the next slowdown is hazardous at best. That said, the number of new applications ... bodes well" SS

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