Expounding On the Use Of the Phrase "Don't Think"

Discussion in 'Evolution of Language' started by Von Jones, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    Let me start by saying 'I don't think this phase is used correcty in the English language.'

    One day I when using the phrase 'I don't think...' it did not sit with me well. It still doesn't sit well with me today. I always wonder how can we 'don't think' something. 'I don't think that is the right way' seems almost like an oxy moron to me but would it sound silly to say 'I think that is not the right way', or 'I'm not sure that is the correct way', wouldn't either be the correct way?

    I hear this phrase being used so much that it boggles my mind trying to actually figure it out. From a personal standpoint I have avoided using this phrase when I'm talking to someone.

    Another thing that I noticed when it's used there is always an agreeing response either by nodding or saying yes, you're right.

    What are you thoughts or is this too mind boggling to you as well?
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Don't believe might be more accurate, and it is often used interchangeably with don't think.
     
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  3. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I like this Ken. Now if I can just persuade others to say, 'I don't believe that is the right way.' Fat chanceo_O
     
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  4. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    I've never thought of it the way you've described but what you say makes a lot of sense and Ken's solution is a good one.

    I'm afraid I'm one of those people who's guilty of using the phrase "don't think" a lot. To make matters worse, it's not usually a case of being uncertain of what I'm saying either, but more a reflection of lack of confidence when I dare to disagree with what someone else has said. Unfortunately, if I can't find a way to build my self-belief, I can't see myself removing that phrase from my the things I say or write.
     
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  5. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I find that I am always 'checking out' someone's English. It wasn't easy for me until I learned to stop correcting them or just ripping something apart like a joke, for instance. I just took the fun out of it.:oops: I guess that's why I can't tell a decent joke today because I explain it away.:(
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    You should try Maine, where it is fairly common to hear someone say, "So don't I" when they are agreeing with you.
     
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  7. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    Well, Ken, you have gone and done it nowo_O. That's another one.
     
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  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I think that it makes perfect sense to use the phrase "don't think". Here's why :
    If you ask someone "do you swim" (for example), you are asking them if they do or don't swim.
    If you ask someone "do you think:, then you are asking them if they do or do not think.
    However, if you ask someone " do you think the sky is blue", then you are not asking them whether they do or don't think about it, you are asking them WHAT they think about it.
    Therefore, you are not saying that you don't think, you are just saying what you do/do not think about whatever the subject is about.
     
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  9. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    You all have really got me going on this:confused:. Yvonne believe I understand what you're saying.

    I used my husband as a sounding board and he thinks it's okay too but I tried to make him see it as I see it -- didn't get any where with him.

    Well, until I can find the words to explain myself I'll just have to remain boggled when I hear it.
     
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  10. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I must be missing something here, maybe Im line Von Jones, husband and not getting anywhere with this.
     
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