don't care < what you look like / your appearance>

  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    First, 'care' can't take an object. It can take a wh-clause, so your first sentence is right, but the second needs the preposition 'about': I don't care about your appearance.

    The two sentences can mean the same thing. That would be if you're talking about people who are dressed strangely, or who are untidy, or other things that might be changed. But 'what you look like' can also mean the permanent aspects: whether you're beautiful or ugly, the shape of your nose, and so on.
     

    cossack5

    Senior Member
    Russian
    First, 'care' can't take an object. It can take a wh-clause, so your first sentence is right, but the second needs the preposition 'about': I don't care about your appearance.
    There circulate idioms like 'care a damn/pin/straw/hang/bean/farthing/etc.' where noun can qualify as an object and it can be followed by a wh-clause as well, e.g. "I don't care a damn what you look lke" (not sure, though).
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think there is a misunderstanding here.

    "I don't give a damn what you look like", and "I don't care what you look like" are both possible.
    We don't say "I don't care a damn", and that is the error that Parla was correcting.

    Added: I should say that I speak from my experience in American English. I see that 'care a damn' is given in the British dictionaries, and may be familiar to speakers of British English.
     
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    cossack5

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I think there is a misunderstanding here.

    "I don't give a damn what you look like", and "I don't care what you look like" are both possible.
    We don't say "I don't care a damn", and that is the error that Parla was correcting.
    Ok, I stand corrected. Although corpora search (particularly, Global Web-Based English) gave few results ("care a damn what").
    I think those usages should be attributed to highly colloquial speech.:)
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Please see this thread for discussion of "don't care a dime" for more examples.

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1920875

    I think "dime" is a substitution to make "damn" less offensive. But also it's analogous to "I don't care a bit" because bit was slang for a small amount of money, half a quarter or 12.5 cents I think. So quarters were called "two bits."
     

    cossack5

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Please see this thread for discussion of "don't care a dime" for more examples.

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1920875

    I think "dime" is a substitution to make "damn" less offensive. But also it's analogous to "I don't care a bit" because bit was slang for a small amount of money, half a quarter or 12.5 cents I think. So quarters were called "two bits."
    Thank you. That clears things for me.
     
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