You're a poet and you don't even know it

American slang, present in English-speaking countries around the world.

Pronounced: Yoor uh PO-et and yoo dohn't EE-ven no it

The most common usage is after someone has said something which inadvertently rhymed. The user of the expression has thus demonstrated their complete superiority over this individual. In other social orders (like Australia, we're told), such an exchange would generally end in a lifelong vendetta, ending only when one party was dead.

An example of correct usage:

Ted: Should I ask Mindy to the Spring Social?
Raúl: I don't know if you should, but I certainly would.
Ted (enraged by the threat to his manhood): You know what, Raúl? You're a poet and you don't even know it!
Raúl: (runs off in tears)

Why was Ted's remark such a success? Raul's uncontrolled speech could be interpreted as iambic trimeter:

I-don't know-if you-should / But-I cer-tain -ly-would

Now let's look at an incorrect application of this phrase:

Marcus-John: Do you think I should ask Andrew to the Spring Social?
Paul: Hell, I don't know. Frankly, I'm afraid of your alternative lifestyle.
Marcus-John: Hey, Paul! You're a poet and you don't even know it!
Paul: What the hell are you talking about? I'm sick of you damn exchange students.

In this case, Marcus-John challenged an alpha male with his little quip; however, in his rush to use it, he did not note that Paul had not, per se, spoken in rhyme. This can be easily explained; as a citizen of Switzerland, Marcus-John has read a great deal of poetry in free verse form. As such, he interpreted Paul's statement as the abstract poem

I do not           know, Frankly:
I'm afraid
Alternative LIFEstyle

Such a faux pas will certainly cost Marcus-John his place in the social order of America. Two weeks later, he was deported by special order of the Prime Ministrator of the United States.

Variations on this popular idiom: You're a poet and you don't even realize, Nice play, Shakespeare, and Stop rhyming, it's goddamn annoying.


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