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use one's brain(s)/head/mind Options
Reiko07
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2020 9:35:51 PM

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(1) Use your brain! You should know better than to be fooled by such propaganda.

(2) Use your brains! You should know better than to be fooled by such propaganda.

(3) Use your head! You should know better than to be fooled by such propaganda.

(4) Use your mind! You should know better than to be fooled by such propaganda.

Which is correct?

I think #3 is correct, but I'm not sure.


palapaguy
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2020 10:42:42 PM

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They're all grammatically correct and commonly used. No. 3 might be the most frequently heard.

tautophile
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 1:46:19 AM
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I agree with Palapaguy, but I would say (1) and especially (3) are much better--more natural, common, and colloquial--than (2) or (4).
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 2:12:51 AM

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In the UK (2) is used more than (1).

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/rack-your-brains
Quote:
rack your brains
UK (US rack your brain)
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 5:19:32 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

One of the common ways of saying it in UK used to be "Use yer loaf!" which came from Cockney rhyming slang where "loaf of bread" = head. Just asked son if he'd heard anyone apart from me say it and he said no.

Any other BE speakers ever heard of it?
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 6:15:38 AM

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Romany wrote:

One of the common ways of saying it in UK used to be "Use yer loaf!" which came from Cockney rhyming slang where "loaf of bread" = head. Just asked son if he'd heard anyone apart from me say it and he said no.

Any other BE speakers ever heard of it?


Yes Rom of course.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 6:55:29 AM
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Sarries - ah good!

My kids don'arf make me feel like a daft 'apenny at times!
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 12:37:48 PM

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Did anyone mention that you need to be very careful saying any of those things to people? You may find yourself on the ground, if you do. Your best best is to omit the "Use you brain/head/mind!" imperative. It's terribly rude.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 1:16:54 PM
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Reiko -

Well, there's nothing at all rude about any of those usages. They, and variations (like "use your loaf" above) are said thousands of times a day. No people were injured on uttering these words in any English-speaking country I've ever lived in!

Like all the words we ever say, it depends on How they're said.

A supercilious person might say it to someone in a sneering way; a conceited person might say it in a superior way, and a person who just wanted to hurt someone might shout it into their face!

But an instructor patiently coaching a student; a parent to a child to encourage them, a colleague saying it at work to someone who's been putting too much effort into things that aren't important, friends or lovers teasing each other? Nah.

The thing is, as I say, ANY word/phrase can sound ugly: if it's said in a rude manner, or if it's meant to hurt. Think how many ways the words "Man" and "Woman" have been uttered over time: adoringly, fearfully, the deepest insult and the highest praise!

As you don't seem to be an insulty, shouty, conceited person, I wouldn't worry.
Reiko07
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 5:47:34 PM

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Thank you all.

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