"We're what you call experts"

At the beginning of Mythbusters, they always come out and do a “don’t try this at home segment.” But the phrasing they use seems odd to me. They always say, “We’re what you call experts.”

I’m sure this is some sort of legalese phrase, but why? They can’t call themselves experts, but can say they are often called experts? Huh?

I don’t think there’s any legalese involved – it’s just a construction, one that I don’t hear too rarely, usually used when someone is pointing out her expertise. It puts emphasis on the label (and possibly some uncertainty as to whether it totally applies.)

I always thought it was supposed to be a tongue in cheek thing, sort of an audible equivalent of quotation marks or quote-fingers. It just sounds weird because when you’re watching a Mythbusters marathon you hear it about a hundred times.

I always thought it was supposed to sound odd for the sake of humor. It almost sounds like bad sci-fi dialogue: “we are what you humans call ‘experts.’” I don’t think it could possibly have any legal meaning at all. On the other hand the ‘don’t try this at home’ warning is intended to cover their asses (and I always think it should be extended to “don’t try this at home… or anywhere else.”). For the same reason, they will sometimes omit the ingredients in a bomb or some other dangerous chemical mixture made on the show.

Sarcastically verbalized scare-quotes.

We’re “experts.”

Is joke. Funny men made a ha-ha.

It’s safer that way.

Yes, it’s intended to be droll. Like when a patron swears they have spent the last 10 minutes looking for a book without finding it, and I find it in less than 10 seconds right where it was supposed to be and quip, “Well, I do this for a living.”

Yes. I think the OP is—how you say?—taking it too seriously.

Don’t forget that these guys do consult with experts and they have years of experience that keep them safe.

Which doesn’t seem to help Tori very much. :smiley:

Experience doesn’t help if you’re still an idiot.

Helps him more than it helps Buster. :wink: