Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James, has been watching the developments with bemusement, and in a note described his reaction to an unnamed perma-bull's market observations:
He said what?! I listened to it, rewound it, and then listened to it again. What I heard was generally correct; he said, "You should put some of your cash back to work here given (Thursday's) decline, but maybe you could put a little of it back to work and then let the market come down a bit more before committing it all." Of course, nobody asked the follow-up question of, "How can we put some cash back to work when you NEVER told us to raise any cash?!"
Saut has been skittish on the market since mid-July, which he said was a likely topping point for the market.
Stocks have spent a good deal of time looking for direction, but August's action has heightened correction talk, a development that very well could set up a strong buying opportunity for the fourth quarter.
(Read more: Gartman: I timed the market wrong, and I want out)
In Saut's mind:
Obviously, I have thought the mid-July through mid-August timeframe was the window in which a meaningful decline would begin. I got numerous congratulatory emails about that stance yesterday. But, it is still far too early to "Take a Bow," thank you, Madonna.
He, in fact, goes on to say his call is a far cry from being realized, with the S&P 500 off just 3 percent from its intraday record high, which is a long way from the 10 percent or more pullback he expected.
His point, though, is that being perma-anything is a dangerous place to be.
There's some substantial good news underlying this story: Amid all the frantic bullishness, investors have stayed fairly conservative and to an extent have brushed off the starry-eyed strategists.
(Read more: Here's what's worrying the stock market)
Pros responding to the August Bank of America Merrill Lynch Fund Managers Survey reported cash levels at 4.5 percent, near a 2013 high.
Individual investors have been sticking cash back into money market funds as well, with Thomson Reuters reporting an inflow of $5.6 billion last week, by far the largest of any funds group, putting the total at $2.62 trillion.
Saut thinks this begins a challenging period for the market.
(Friday) "they" may try and rally stocks again. But, my long-standing mantra has been "never on a Friday," meaning that once you are into one of these swoons they rarely bottom on a Friday, leaving participants brooding about their losses over the weekend.
—By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him @JeffCoxCNBCcom on Twitter.