Don’t want to sound like a dick but …

Guy walks into my office, starts complaining, launches into the titular phrase, making me conjure up all kinds of sentences I never want to hear the rest of.

They all begin with a faux politesse, they all pivot on “but:”

No offense but …

Don’t take this the wrong way but …

I don’t want to complain but …

and my favorite:

Hate to break it to you but …

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