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Just recently, I heard someone on TV use the phrase "I kid of course". (I think it was The Big Bang Theory but I'm not very sure). Any way, is this phrase grammatically correct?

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In what way would it not be grammatical? I am writing this comment - would it not be valid to say I write it. Of course, you might think of course should only come at the start of an utterance. Not many would agree with that either, of course. Voting to close as "general reference". – FumbleFingers Feb 16 '12 at 21:05
I meant, the correct form would be "I am kidding, of course". "I kid" sounds incorrect (though it seems I was wrong) – user18129 Feb 17 '12 at 5:45
I think you're just getting mixed up between what's "grammatical", and what people usually actually say. If we're talking about an ongoing present tense activity, we usually say "I am xxxx-ing" rather than "I xxxx", but that doesn't hold true all the time. Context, and individual preference, are central. The somewhat whimsical context of your example is effectively amplified by using a slightly unusual choice of tense, is all. – FumbleFingers Feb 17 '12 at 16:58
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Yes. One might quibble about not having a comma between "kid" and "of," but you are transcribing spoken dialogue.

"You are attacked by a tiger, what do you do?"

"I run, of course"

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In case this is the cause of your confusion, the work kid here is the verb meaning to talk (especially tell a lie) jokingly. Nothing to do with children; it does not mean "I am a kid".

So I kid means "I am joking."

I can't really explain why it is in the present tense instead of the present progressive, but this is very often seen specifically with kid (or jest or joke), and hardly ever with other verbs. Perhaps it comes from a historical utterance of the phrase, or such usage in another language. (I somehow associate it with old Jewish comedians.)

Of course the present progressive form "I am kidding, of course." is perfectly acceptable and and common.

It's usually said immediately after an unbelievable-sounding statement, and followed by a clarification (often starting with "But seriously...").

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