Inherent Selfcontradiction

"If you say ‘I don’t give a damn about …’," goes my friend, "you do give a damn about it and therefore contradicting to yourself because that phase is inherently self-contradictory."

According to his theory, ‘damn’ is such a strong emotive word and it indicates your emotional involvement in what you just said you do not care – therefore, you do care.

I can understand how he made the link between ‘careing’ and ‘having an emotion,’ but to my mind, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the emotion contained in using the word ‘damn’ is associated with the following ‘about ….’ Therefore it is not necessarily self-contradictoy, hence certainly not "inherent" in the phrase. What do you think?

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About Dr Kats

a working sociologist/linguist/translator based in Odawara, Japan
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