Sunday, April 04, 2010

I think these days I'm about the only person in the world

who says "I don't give a damn" when she means "I don't care."

The rest of the world seems busy saying "I give a damn" not for the slightest second realising that they are, effectively, saying the very opposite of what they mean.

If you, like me, say what you mean, do raise a hand or bung a sheep or something. It's getting very lonely here on Comprehensible Island.

39 comments:

MRC said...

Hi Sue,

Long time lurker, first time commenter , just letting you know that you have company :) And how about the "Anyways" brigade!

dipali said...

Ditto the Sue! Sadly, I do give a damn for the English language:(

The Restless Quill said...

Yahaha I agree. How about "thanks god"? Or being asked how many siblings you have when they actually want to know your offspring count? Agree with MRC too, anyways :P

Jidhu Jose said...

I didnt get

Munchkin said...

Same here. Everyone I know fears my indifference more than my anger because they know I mean it.

First Rain said...

The world is anyway busy making hay while I am lost in counting sheep. Night they say is the new day. Curiously enough, I find it comforting these days when what I say does not make sense to the linguistically challenged or even to those who are too bored to be challenged any which way. Not that anyone gives a damn about what I am saying. Still, its fun.

MinCat said...

GOD yes it drives me nuts!

Sue said...

MRC -- LOL I was a member of that brigade until one fine morning I woke up and found that it drove me nuts. But I do have lots of mails from those days that make me blush. :)

Dipali -- You and me both. I also give a damn for lucidity!

RQ -- LOL, yeah I've heard somebody else complain about the sibling thing. Thanks god is a new one.

Jidhu -- "I don't give a damn" means " I don't care" whereas "I give a damn" means "I do care". People mix this up all the time and end up saying the very opposite of what they want to say.

Munchkin's Mom -- True, indifference is always worse than anger.

First Rain -- You linguistic snob you. :P

MinCat -- We need to have a blogathon on language issues. Each one write about one specific thing that they wish people knew about the languages they use. Or make it like a tag, with a list of all the posts available somewhere. Let me think about this some more.

Itchingtowrite said...

start the language blogathon naa... i 'd love to participate

The Soul of Alec Smart said...

*Raises hand and joins you on that island*

Want to admit that I sometimes DO still become a part of the "Anyways" brigade. But really, my biggest pet peeve has to be Lose vs. Loose. Also, thanks to Shobhaaaaa De's consistent misspelling, half the world now believes that scary is scarEy.

Also, for a moment here, I thought your post was about a larger philosophical question on our hands. Like people never saying what they mean. Well, for another time then. :)

Beq said...

I'm part of the "anyways" brigade. Never could shake it!

Mama - Mia said...

guilty of anywayz! but not the rest.

and yes, you have company! :)

and my pet peeve HAS to be Lose v/s Loose! just because it doesn't show up in the goddamn spell check doesn't mean it is right! gah!

cheers!

Sue said...

Itchy -- Will, then.

Alec Smart -- Scarey? Ugh.

Beq -- I suspect I picked it up from you, you know. :)

Abha -- Yes! I really must start a blogathon. Give me a day or two to plan it.

the mad momma said...

My list. and I could go on.

"I give a damn"
"Anyways"
"We were chatting 'up'"
"Where do you put up"

Argh.

GettingThereNow said...

*bungs a sheep at the Sue*

GettingThereNow said...

Love your idea in your comment to MinCat!! Do start that. And tag me too, please!

Casuarina said...

Totally agree...and yes, second MRC's issues with 'anyways'!

Sometimes , I so feel like saying: "Stop. Think. Speak."

Language traffic rules, you know.

eve's lungs said...

All I can think of is why so such ? Do a literal translation from Bengali . I love reading picturesque english .shurshuri deye kothaye jeno

Rimi said...

Skipping the rest of the comments, so ignore if this has already been mentioned. I ranted on FB about people saying "I could care less" when it's clear from the context that they mean "I could NOT care less", not realising that when they say they could care less, they do in fact care. People have stopped thinking before they open their mouths, clearly.

Arundhati said...

There is one that I actually find cute - "I can able to...". What I can't stand is incorrect spelling for eg. "tommorrow". And it really gets on my nerves when books meant for children have spelling and grammar issues.

Arundhati said...

... and "occassion"

Hip Grandma said...

nice reading all those comments. like arundhati i too can't stand wrong spellings. Writting and 'unti'for aunty drive me crazy. spellathon or blogathon i'd love to participate even if it is only to improve my english.

Padma said...

Oh! I have one. How about "one of my friend" ?

Suki said...

Well, I say "I don't give a fuck/flying fuck". So yeah, the "I don't give a damn"-sayers are clearly becoming a minority!

A few days ago, someone asked me if "an big elephant" was correct... because he'd seen it written so often. Sigh.

Suki said...

PS: My latest pet peeve is "it's sooo funnnn!"

!!!!!!

Well, I usually give a damn about punctuation, but exclamation marks are a damn good substitute for gestures.

shub said...

Agree, agree! And yes, don't get me started on 'anyways'. Bleaaaargh.

And I'm glad Suki here finally said it - I CANNOT stand people saying 'It's SO fun'. WTF?
Grammar-gestapos unite!

Chinkurli said...

*raises hand* I've even heard "I care a damn"

Extremely sad. And it's people who talk like these who think their English is "cool".

Sue said...

MM -- You have my sympathies.

Cee -- Will start it on Tuesday. Consider yourself tagged.

Casuarina -- Yes, Stop. Think. Speak sounds quite sensible.

Evie -- 'Why so such' has entered my vocabulary now!

Rimi -- *sigh* Clearly.

Arundhati -- Goodness, yes. Or when slightly complex grammar is skipped over or accounted incorrect by the teachers themselves. In our Radiant Way in class II or so we had a sentence where somebody had had something. The teacher made us cancel one had as a typo!

Hip Grandma -- I'll start it on the first of June. Consider yourself tagged.

Padma -- LOL

Suki -- "an big elephant"? Why???

Shub -- Ever read Eats, Shoots and Leaves? You can buy yourself a red marker and go on a rampage NOW. I'll support you. :)

Chinkurli -- Very true.

Tamanna Mishra said...

*raises hand*

And de-lurking :)

Didn't went - My pet peeve.

Sue said...

Tamanna -- By people who can't speak any English or who think that's a 'cool' phrase?

Anonymous said...

I think both mean the same. Give a damn ( I don't care), Don't (even) give a damn (I care even less than that)..

googled and found that I give a damn was interpreted as both 'i care' and 'i don't care'

usha said...

that was Usha above..not anonymous

Trish said...

*raising a hand*
I agree..I agree!!
My favorite is- Heighted!!!! instead of tall!!
and live and leave!

Sue said...

Usha -- No, it's actually just wrong usage. To give a damn means that the issue matters to you, which I suppose is not what the person is saying.

Thanks for leaving your name, anon comments do make me uncomfortable. :)

Trish -- Heighted? No way!

eve's lungs said...

Oh God this prompts a quote from Big Daddy but I must post anonymously - note , its must not shall

Sue said...

Evie -- Post away.

PV said...

Damned if you do and damned if you don't ?

Frankly my dear, this post couldn't have come at a damn better time !

pyknosis said...

Count me in on the I give a damn about language. Though there are times when i find american english much simpler than the british equivalent that we've all (well at least most of us who'v had their primary upbringing in India) grown up on. 'Color' for example is reasonably simpler than 'colour'. Don't see a reason why that u cant be dropped. But yes, the hordes of seemingly uber-sexual indians picking up american pronunciation is profoundly irritating. Lae.Borae.Tawry. and SKEJULE are cases in point. Why? I mean...why? You can't tell the difference between sons-in-law and son-in-laws but you have a busy SKEJULE? Why?
But well, there are over a billion of us. And unfortunately not a large chunk is really sure of their identity. Such diversions are but expected.
And i commit a crime some times too...knowingly though...and cursing myself under my own breath every time i do it...when i brush such abuse of language aside with a very american..."Oh it ain't nothing." Ain't Nothing? Dual purpose u see. For them its what they want to hear...for me its NOT Nothing.
Peace.

Ankit

Sue said...

PV -- LOL

Ankit -- Peace indeed.