binocular wrote: ↑
Wed May 09, 2018 11:56 am
Then we're at an impasse.
Frankly I don’t care.
I’ve taken part in this thread thus far only because I mistakenly thought that it concerned something that I had written in the other thread. But it appears now that it doesn’t. Rather, its concern is with the counterfactual topic of what my words in the other thread would have meant if they had been written by you.
And so if we are now at an impasse then it’s one entirely of your own making. You have made it by committing a sort of linguistic equivalent of the anthropological “If I were a horse...
” fallacy. It might indeed be the case that if you were me and had written what I wrote, then the words would mean something different from what they meant when I wrote them. But you’re not and you didn’t and they don’t. This, together with your ungracious discounting of my own explanation of what I meant has led to the impasse.
binocular wrote: ↑
Wed May 09, 2018 11:56 am
You're asking me to doubt my most fundamental linguistic intuition.
If your most fundamental linguistic intuition is telling you that in all contexts “I don't care” means “F***”, then you would do well to doubt it, for it is quite wrong and can easily be shown to be so:
There was a Young Lady whose bonnet
Came untied when the birds sat upon it;
But she said, “I don’t care! all the birds in the air
Are welcome to sit on my bonnet!”
Edward Lear’s bonneted young lady is not saying “F***”. If she had been, then the verse would never have made it past Queen Victoria’s eagle-eyed censors. What she is saying is: “I don't mind that the birds are causing my bonnet to become untied.”
I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend if it makes you feel alright
I’ll get you anything my friend if it makes you feel alright
’Cause I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.
McCartney and Lennon are not saying “F***”. They are saying that they attach little importance to money.
They went to sea in a sieve, they did;
In a sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day,
In a sieve they went to sea.
And when the sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, “You’ll all be drowned!”
They called aloud, “Our sieve ain’t big;
But we don’t care a button, we don’t care a fig:
In a sieve we’ll go to sea!”
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live:
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue
And they went to sea in a sieve.
The Jumblies are not saying “F***” to the concerned onlookers. They're saying that they are unworried.
“That narrow window, I expect,
Serves but to let the dusk in—”
“But please,” said I, “to recollect
’Twas fashioned by an architect
Who pinned his faith on Ruskin!”
“I don’t care who he was, Sir, or
On whom he pinned his faith!
Constructed by whatever law,
So poor a job I never saw,
As I’m a living Wraith!
Lewis Carroll is not saying “F***”. Like the Beatles above, and like myself in the other thread, he is saying that he attaches little importance to something.
And finally, before withdrawing from this ridiculous thread, I append an extract from the entry for the verb “to care” in the OED, listing the uses of the verb in the negative. As you will see, it has a very long and rich semantic history — one that is perhaps little-known among those dwelling in far-flung Balkan backwaters.
In negative and conditional construction: not to care passes from the notion of ‘not to trouble oneself’, to those of ‘not to mind, not to regard or pay any deference or attention, to pay no respect, be indifferent’.
c 1489 Caxton Sonnes of Aymon vi. 139, I departed fro my londe poure & exyled but I dyd not care for it.
1535 Coverdale Matt. xxii. 16 Master we knowe that thou‥carest for no man.
1596 Spenser F.Q. ii. ii. 18 Ne ought he car'd whom he endamaged / By tortious wrong.
1610 Shakes. Temp. i. i. 18 What cares these roarers for the name of King?
1633 P. Fletcher Pisc. Ecl. v. 28 Full little caren they To make their milkie mothers bleating stay.
1711 Steele Spect. No. 145 ⁋4 The young Man is rich, and, as the Vulgar say, needs not care for any body.
1748 Thomson Cast. Indol. ii. iii, I care not, Fortune, what you me deny.
1774 Goldsm. Hist. Greece II. 61 This important pass, which Philip did not care attempting to force.
1816 J. Wilson City of Plague ii. iv. 174 In thy embrace what do I care for death.
1871 Morley Voltaire (1878) 3 Men had almost ceased to care whether there be any moral order or not.
1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) III. 13 Cephalus appears not to care about riches.
1883 Lloyd Ebb & Fl. I. 18, I don't care what people say.
(a) with some strengthening word, as a pin, a button, a straw, a rush, a fig, a farthing, a rap, etc.
1590 Spenser F.Q. i. ii. 12 He‥cared not for God or man a point.
1633 Marmyon Fine Compan. ii. i. 68, I do not care a pin for her.
1709 Steele Tatler No. 50, I do not care a farthing for you.
1760 Goldsm. Cit. W. xlvi, Not that I care three damns what figure I may cut.
1828 Thaumaturgus 23 If for the truth you care a button.
1856 R. Vaughan Mystics (1860) I. 4 A subject‥for which not ten of your friends care a straw.
1876 Geo. Eliot Dan. Der. 236, I don't care a toss where you are.
Ibid. 211 You suppose I care a damn for that?
1880 Spurgeon Treas. Dav. II. 4 Pharisees care not a fig for the Lord's hearing them.
(b) Sc. to care na by: not to care about (it).
1788 E. Picken Poems I. 189 (Jam.) Alake, she cared na by.
a 1796 Burns My Nannie O. viii, Come weal, come woe, I care na by.
(c) Colloq. phr. (I, etc.) couldn't care less: (I am, etc.) completely uninterested, utterly indifferent; freq. as phr. used attrib. Hence couldn't-care-less-ness.
1946 A. Phelps (title) ‘I couldn't care less.’
1947 B. Marshall Red Danube vi. 53 The couldn't-care-less boys, the chaps who imagined that now that the war was over there was no need for further effort.
1947 People 22 June 2/4 If I suggest that it should be good because the book was by a top-line author she simply couldn't care less.
1955 Essays in Criticism V. 76 Exhibiting a vulgar couldn't-carelessness.
1957 F. H. King Man on Rock iv. 120 The phrase he most used was ‘I couldn't care less’: which seemed to sum up his character.
1965 Times Lit Suppl. 25 Nov. 1083/1 The couldn't-care-less attitude of people with little to lose.
(d) U.S. colloq. phr. (I, etc.) could care less = sense (c) above, with omission of negative.
1966 Seattle Post-Intelligencer 1 Nov. 21/2 My husband is a lethargic, indecisive guy who drifts along from day to day. If a bill doesn't get paid he could care less.
1973 Washington Post 5 Jan. b1/1 A few crusty-souled Republican senators who could care less about symbolic rewards.
1978 J. Carroll Mortal Friends iii. iii. 281 ‘I hate sneaking past your servants in the morning.’ ‘They know, anyway. They could care less. Thornton mistreats them horribly.’
b.4.b Not to mind (something proposed); to have no disinclination or objection, be disposed to. Now only with if, though.
1526 Pilgr. Perf. (W. de W. 1531) 18 Some for a fewe tythes, with Cayn, careth not to lese the eternall rychesse of heuen.
c 1590 Marlowe Dido iv. v, So you'll love me, I care not if I do.
1597 Shakes. 2 Hen. IV, i. ii. 142, I care not if I be your Physitian.
1611 Florio, Scrócca il fuso‥a light-heeled trull that cares not to horne hir husband.
1646 Row Hist. Kirk (1842) 324 We care not to lett you see what we wrot up to the King.
1748 Richardson Clarissa (1811) V. 265 Will you eat, or drink, friend?‥ I dont care if I do.
1841 Gresley C. Lever 58, I don't care if I go with you for once.
5.5 To have a regard or liking for. Orig. only in neg. or interrog. constructions (‘not to regard’ as in 4 a); now also in affirmative, but usually as the alternative or negative of an implied negation. a.5.a To have a regard, liking, or inclination for (a thing); to be inclined or disposed to, to think it worth while to do.
1560 A. L. tr. Calvin's Foure Serm. iii. (R.) He cared for nothing more then that kynde of lyfe.
1631 Gouge God's Arrows iii. §4. 189 Malice‥onely careth to satisfie its owne venomous humour.
1697 W. Dampier Voy. I. ix. 275 We‥baked of these Roots‥but none of us greatly cared for them.
1762 Goldsm. Nash 12 He never cared to give money.
1868 J. H. Blunt Ref. Ch. Eng. I. 98 Few cared for reformation; many cared for destruction.
1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) III. 511 They become rulers in their own city if they care to be.
1883 H. Wace Gospel & Witn. ii. 36 The main positions for which a Christian writer cares to contend.
b.5.b To have regard, fondness, or attachment for (a person).
c 1530 Ld. Berners Arth. Lyt. Bryt. (1814) 244, I care not for hym that is ayenst my heart.
1590 Lodge Euphues Gold. Leg. (1887) 163 Creep not to her that cares not for thee.
1657 R. Ligon Barbadoes 47 He never car'd much for her afterward.
1750 Lady Hervey in Bk. of Days II. 299, I dread to see people I care for quite easy and happy.
1878 Mrs. H. Wood Pomeroy Ab. I. vi. 93 She was sure she cared for the lord at heart.
6.6 trans. in various senses: †a.6.a To cause care to, trouble (obs.). †b.6.b To care for, regard (obs.). c.6.c To take care of, guard, preserve with care (dial.).
[c 1230 Hali Meid. 29 Lutel þarf þe carien for þin anes liueneð.]
c 1386 Chaucer Miller's T. 112 Nay ther of care thee noght quod Nicholas.
c 1420 Iudicium (1822) 13 The day is comen of Catyfnes all those to care that ar uncleyn.
c 1565 Lindesay Pitscottie Chron. 301 (Jam.) He cares you not in his just quarrell.
1612 Jas. I in Ellis Orig. Lett. i. 266 III. 106 Ye littill care youre olde freindis.
1628 Feltham Resolves I. 76 (L.) Care them [jewels] up, and wear them but on festivals.
1881 Mrs. P. O'Donoghue Ladies on Horseb. vi. 84 If you care your things‥it is surprising how long they may be made to serve.