Better say “abandon your mind to it.”

Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone. I would like to know what "Better say 'abandon your mind to it.'" means in the following sentences:

'And there’s so deuced little enterprise in the business. If you’d give your mind to it, you might make hundreds a year.’
Better say “abandon your mind to it.”
‘Why, there you are!'

- George Gissing, New Grub Street, Chapter 1

Jasper Milvain, the protagonist of the novel which is first published in 1891 in the United Kingdom, is suggesting his two sisters that they should try writing Sunday-school prize books. He says there is little enterprise in the business, and if they "give their mind to it," they might make hundreds a year. And then, Maud, one of his two sisters, corrects the phrase as "abandon your mind to it," at which Jasper exclaims that she is a sharp enough girl.

In this part, I could not understand why Maud corrected Jasper's phrase.
Is there something wrong with his expression?
Or, is Maud's expression more popular than Jasper's?
And how do the two expressions differ, because they seem almost the same to me?

I would very much appreciate your help. :)
 
Last edited:
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Maud is disparaging the work. If you give your mind to something, you will be thinking actively about it. Maud is saying that this type of writing is mindless, and will require no real substantial thought.
     

    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear GreenWhiteBlue,

    Thank you very much for the explanation.
    Then, may I take that Maud is making something of a pun by twisting "give one's mind" to "abandon one's mind" so as to deliver the opposite meaning?
     
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