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The 'phrasing' gag is used on many occasions to highlight the occurrence of an innuendo. It as deployed mainly by Archer but other characters use it as well. This is a direct way of making reference to an indirect source of humor. 'Phrasing' draws attention to something that was just said and, without explicitly saying it, allows the audience to get 'in' on the joke.  On many occasions, long after the gag was dropped (by Adam Reed), Archer asks: "are we still doing phrasing?" thus alluding to the fact that it used to be a thing. This has the complex effect of humanizing Archer by imbuing his character with a memory which creates a bond ('in joke') with the audience thus allowing his which has the character to 'break the fourth wall' in subtle ways. There is no doubt that watching those later episodes without the prior context of when phrasing was a thing would be confusing to the uninitiated.

Turning it up to 11, even Archer's use of "seriously, why aren't we doing phrasing?" alludes to the filthiness of the phrase which made him think of it: he can hardly contain himself at the crudeness of the thought which has occurred to him. This the effect of directing the audience to the smutty reference he has just perceived and implanting the notion in their mind. This is indirect, implied innuendo at it's finest; a perfect callback and meta-joke (making fun of making fun) at the same time, and one which seemingly has Archer begging for it to be brought back.

It is revealed in Season 12 that Archer learned "phrasing" from his mentor McGinley who coined the gag.

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