English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

And thanks, too, for contacting me, because you need to hear what I have to say. You might want to sit down for this. If you’re on anti-anxiety medication, all the better.

What does the columnist mean by saying "You might want to sit down for this"?

share|improve this question

It is customary to ensure that someone is sitting down before delivering shocking or bad news, the concern being that they may feel faint and fall over. Thus, "you may want to sit down for this" can be used literally to warn the reader that they should sit before they continue to read, lest they be in for a shock.

It can also be used more tongue-in-cheek to emphasize that whatever follows is a radical, perhaps shocking idea. I think this is the case in the paragraph you cited, just because one would not normally encourage someone to be on anxiety medication before delivering bad news. :)

share|improve this answer

People usually sit down to rest or to make themselves feel calm and relaxed. In this situation the writer is telling him to be calm while reading the text and no to be agressive while he gets the shocking news!

He, in the beginning thanked him as well as wrote that he is going to answer the question which was sent in a letter or howsoever. So its reply was somehow harsh or surprising in a bad way, for which he asked him to please be seated before you get to know my answer.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.