Sixty years ago, columnist Sydney J. Harris began compiling a Dictionary of Pharisaical Phrases--expressions that mean the opposite of what they say. "Whenever people want to hurt others, and gratify themselves," Harris observed, "they begin with a mealy-mouthed phrase."
Harris's work was left unfinished, and, unfortunately, there's no evidence that verbal hypocrisies (Sir Arnold Lunn called them phrops) have diminished over the years. Therefore, I'm sure you won't mind if I pick up this project where Harris left off--with examples adapted from essays in his collection Strictly Personal (1953). . . .
If you have any candidates for the new Dictionary of Phony Phrases, please click on "comments" and send them along. After all, this is for your own good, and I'm thinking only of your best interests.
For the complete article (revised and expanded), see A Dictionary of Phony Phrases.