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Deep dive/pro tip/Have we met?

Saturday 8/19/23

It is better to avoid the phrases "deep dive" and "pro tip." The former is lazy (paradoxically, given what it suggests will follow). Media outlets--which is how I'd now classify most magazines, websites, and newspapers as depth dwindles and rehashing replaces writing--started using it as a way to say, "Here is something that is less surface-based than everything else we put out that isn't just our regular rehash," and it quickly became a cliche and a surface-based indication that in all probability there wouldn't be much depth involved at all. It was like a cheat code indicative of intentions--we want to give you more (eh; kind of)--but one didn't get much more.

And as the surface became ever more surface-y--depth is treated like there is no such thing or else is that to which no one must be led--the standards for what constituted one of these deep dives themselves became nonexistent. It's almost always just lip-service, a lie. Anything of depth and value can't be accurately described with a stock term. I've always bristled when it has been applied--not by me--to things I have written. It's not accurate, because the term also means, "This piece is going to be like these other things and this type of thing," and it's not like those things or any type of anything. It's its own thing.

"Pro tip," meanwhile, is almost always obnoxious. It's something that someone who is not a pro says, having sourced that thing from their ass (and can make no more claim to being a professional in the relevant area than some beer-bloated middle aged guy in Stoughton who gets winded looking for a rake can make to being the Patriots' starting running back), and which they loftily provide someone else as if they're their wise and worldly mental benefactor.

You have an ignorant person condescending to you (or, perhaps more likely, many people at once), with their smarmy phrase because they can't impart anything with grace and wisdom, and, ironically, don't possess the intelligence to do so or the ingenuity to preface what would be the salient input/counsel (which they're unlikely to have anyway) with anything but a condescending trope.

Roughly translated: "Pro tip, if you're going to blah blah blah," means, "Pro tip, this is one of the ways in which a douchebag can be instantly recognized as such and I am one of those douchebags."

So in a way they actually do give you a tip, to be fair.

Similarly: avoid almost anyone who says, "Have we met?" It's how a passive aggressive, insecure person talks. They are trying to elevate themselves above you. They will lack any real reason to do so, which is why they pull things like this. The implication is, "I am very important--definitely more important than you are--though my insecurity consumes my entire being, and you would definitely remember me, but being above you, with you akin to some fly or gnat to a personage such as I, I'm going to act like I don't know if we've met because given my importance it's likely I'd have forgotten the puny likes of you." Also: "I meet so many people, because so many people want to know me."

People commonly say this when they full well know they haven't met that other person (but they've scoped them out in the way we do now--that is, online, where we can quickly know a decent amount about someone else). They are more apt to say it to someone unforgettable and who stands out as precisely someone who wouldn't be forgotten, because the latter person heightens the former's insecurity. It's almost always said as a way to establish a hierarchy, with you being beneath that person from the start, no matter how insipid and insubstantial they are.

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