just the facts, ma'am

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just the facts, ma'am

Only state exactly what happened, without embellishment or exaggeration. The phrase is often attributed to the character Sergeant Joe Friday from the 1950s TV show Dragnet. Despite popular misconceptions, Friday never said this exact phrase. All right, whoa, just the facts, ma'am—when did you start hearing the strange noise? A: "He's a two-timing fool!" B: "All right, just the facts, ma'am. What caused your dispute?"
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Just the facts, Ma'am

Don't embellish your story. Many expressions moved from a movie or television program to popular speech, but none more quickly than a misquotation (as it turns out) of a lines by Sergeant Joe Friday, played by Jack Webb on the 1950s TV series Dragnet. With his deadpan expression and staccato speech, Friday enthralled the public; Dragnet was one of the highest-rated drama series of the decade. At least once in every show, viewers heard Friday tell a female witness, “Just the facts, Ma'am.” Except they didn't. He might have said, “Give us the facts, ma'am,” but he never uttered the four-word phrase. No matter, because the phrase swept the country in a wide range of contexts. If you wanted to be thought of (if only by yourself) as clever, you interjected “Just the facts, Ma'am” delivered in a Friday voice in a question or request. Oh well, Humphrey Bogart's character Rick in the movie Casablanca never said “Play it again, Sam” either.
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References in periodicals archive ?
That means no tilt steering or cruise control, and the Information Center gives you "just the facts ma'am," such as fuel level, speed, rpm, engine temperature along with an hourmeter and an check engine light.
For example, by using a "just the facts ma'am" approach, men often fail to anticipate the long-term implications of certain decisions.
The year also brought Dragnet with Jack Webb as the laconic ('The facts, just the facts Ma'am') Sgt Joe Friday to be parodied by Stan Freberg in St George and the Dragon Net.
Just the facts ma'am: This first-of-its-kind research, focusing exclusively on those 85+ year olds in residential care facilities, enables us to better understand and communicate with our most elderly seniors.