Sentences beginning with this word are properly admissions of something shocking or unflattering to the speaker, but when a public spokesperson for a business or government is speaking, it almost always precedes a self-serving statement. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” is correct, but “Frankly, I think the American people can make their own decisions about health care” is an abuse of language. The same contortion of meaning is common in related phrases. When you hear a public figure say, “to be completely honest with you,” expect a lie.
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