I read this recently in the Hudson Review (Spring 2007) and found it rather intriguing. It is by Bert Cardullo:
Only in America could reality become a trend. But, then, only in America do we take time out for a “reality check,” as if anyone so far gone as to lose his sense of reality would actually now what to check in order to get it back. I mean, get real. Of course, only in America could the admonishment “get real” be a reproach, and “unreality” be a sin. And now that we’re on the subject, only in America do we say “I mean” before we say what we mean, as if it were an acceptable convention for people to go around saying what they didn’t mean, and it had become another convention to make the distinction, before saying anything of consequence, between meaning and not meaning what you are about to say.