mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
Give a damn Options
Untergang
Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:35:32 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 7/10/2016
Posts: 86
Neurons: 3,773
Is "give a damn" always used in negative sentences or can it be a positive statement too?

For example:

I give a damn about you. - Does this mean that I care about you or that I don't care about you?

I know that this is often used as "don't give a damn", where the meaning is perfectly clear. But in literature I sometimes come across the above usage, when the writer doesn't put in a don't or a not or something negative.
HoosierDaddy
Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:57:21 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/8/2009
Posts: 72
Neurons: 190,267
Location: Princeton, Indiana, United States
I don't think so. I've never seen that usage.
thar
Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:32:15 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 23,708
Neurons: 96,171
That would not be the opposite.

A dam/n is nothing, worthless.

If you care about thing, you value it.

This is saying you care about something so little that you don't even care about it with the smallest amount.

I don't [even] give a damn.

So, you say you give a damn means nothing.

eg
if you see something you don't like, and you would never buy it, you would say "I wouldn't spend one penny on that".
The opposite of that is to really value it, to want it - "I would spend a fortune to have that".

You wouldn't say "I would spend one penny on that". It makes no sense.
Similarly, saying you give a damn, as a stand-alone phrase, makes no sense, the way you have expressed it.


When it can be used as a negation of the negative.

You don't give a damn about me.
Yes I do. I do give a damn.

But that only works in the context of saying "I don't 'not give a damn'" - if you see what I mean?
It makes no sense as an expression of caring. Just as negation of an accusation of not caring.

Or it can mean caring a very little, the minimum expected.
If you cared a damn about me, you wouldn't cheat on me.
ie, if you cared even a little bit. But you don't care even that little bit, you don't care at all.
e
towan52
Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2017 12:19:44 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 2,047
Neurons: 232,689
Location: Waco, Texas, United States
I suppose it could be used in a positive way, for example: I don't give a damn about negative criticism, I think I'm wonderful.
Untergang
Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 1:39:53 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 7/10/2016
Posts: 86
Neurons: 3,773
Thank you for the answers!
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.