You’ll get 32,400,000 hits via Google for the phrase: nothing personal, just business. Perhaps there will be a lot more added by the end of this day?
I consider this phrase to be the cop-out phrase of, at the very least, this decade. As soon as I hear this froth from an individual’s mouth, I now immediately label them thugs and/or MUCH worse. But that’s me, and after hearing one employer I worked for use it over and over so many times to good and loyal employees who stood before him to be shanked out of their jobs for no reason except that the employer loved to ‘see their face after I’ve really worked them dry the entire day and gotten my money’s worth or more’.
Probably he shouldn’t have shared that with me so very often because, just after my last day - when he requested me to return to the office to speak with him (after I’d been sent home on New Year’s Eve), I instead sent an e-mail advising that there was no need for me to meet with him at his office at all, but that I was requesting written documentation that my unemployment insurance was in fact up to date along with the actual date of my dismissal and ended with “I have always valued your kindness and friendship, this is nothing personal, just business.’
I received all information I needed promptly, along with an apology and a rather hefty severance check and a couple other perks.
Who would YOU like to slam this phrase to???
“It’s nothing personal. Just business.”
A Stock Phrase that has two uses.
The first is usually used by an antagonist. Generally it will be given after the antagonist has announced what he’s about to do, but before he actually does it. Alternatively, it may be given after the protagonist has overwhelmed the villain and the villain is trying to defuse the hero’s anger or justify his actions. It wasn’t personal, after all. This can also come in the form of “it’s not personal.”
Often used this way by the Lovable Traitor and the Punch Clock Villain.
Usually, when a person says this, it really isn’t personal to them. Why this should matter to the person they’re hurting is a mystery, however. As such, this trope can also refer to the character himself and not just to dialogue.
The second is to use it as another way of saying “no offense.” Nothing personal, but this comment might offend you. This is more a figure of speech than a stock phrase, and as such we probably shouldn’t catalog examples.
Contrast times when it IS personal: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Ptitlelsweoq6tcdke?from=Main.ItsPersonal
continued examples next post: