What is the tersest way for a speaker to request from the listener to refrain from making any inferences from a statement of fact?

Suppose as part of a narrative, I want to say something happened (e.g. "I stubbed my toe on the bench").

At the same time, I don't want the listener to jump to any conclusions based on that statement. For example, that: my toe is in pain, or I'm upset, or the bench was in a bad spot or had been moved.

How can I state a fact with this proviso efficiently?

closed as primarily opinion-based by anongoodnurse, tchrist, Edwin Ashworth, Misti, Drew Jan 31 '15 at 2:36

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    There really isn't any foolproof way. If you make a statement of fact, anyone who understands it can draw inferences from it; there's no way to prevent that. If you're careful to state only what happened -- without triggering any presuppositions, which takes some attention to detail -- then you may do so without being responsible for any conclusions the listener draws. Provided you didn't lead them to those conclusions. – John Lawler Jan 29 '15 at 1:12
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    It's a little bit rude, but "let me finish before you speak" is essentially what you're saying, I think. And it's not polite. That's why they're conversations, not versations. – anongoodnurse Jan 29 '15 at 1:13
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    You stated it yourself: "Don't jump to any conclusions". – Erik Kowal Jan 29 '15 at 1:30
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    This is like asking someone not to think of pink elephants. – Robusto Jan 29 '15 at 2:12
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    Since it's part of a narrative, a non-verbal gesture is the tersest way to make your point- as you approach the part of your statement where an inference could start to be drawn, you hold up your fist with a raised index finger and simultaneously give the listener a stern look as if looking over the top of your glasses. This will be taken to mean, "Now, don't go jumping to conclusions. Just listen." – Jim Jan 29 '15 at 4:12

Perhaps take at face value

to accept something because of the way it first looks or seems, without thinking about what else it could mean

Cambridge Idioms Dictionary (found at idioms.thefreedictionary.com)

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