Dwell on vs dissect vs rake over

Dunno123

Senior Member
Slovak
Hello. I am struggling to find the best verb. The context is that I just had a very lengthy discussion with my friend about something I did in the past and I tried to explain all the details and reasons for why I did it, which he still didn't approve of. At the end, as the discussion got really long and tedious and we still didn't come to an agreement, I wanted to say something like "Forget it. It doesn't matter now anyway, it happened 2 years ago and I don't want to [...] it anymore. You keep your opinion and I will keep mine."

The definition of the verb "[...]" would probably be something like "to go back into/speak about something lengthily, pointlessly, in depth, over and over again, often about something unimportant that happened in the past".

My attempts and my opinion in parentheses (please correct me if it's wrong):
I don't want to dwell on it anymore. (emphasizes talking too long about something)
I don't want to dissect it anymore. (emphasizes going into needless detail, not sure if anyone says that)
I don't want to rake over it anymore. (not sure if it's suitable as it emphasizes going back and talking about something unpleasant that happened in the past)
I don't want to dig into it anymore. (not sure if it can be used, I made it up thinking I've heard something like that before)

Please, would you share your opinion on these sentences and possibly suggest a better verb you would use in this context?

Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Out of those options, I would go for “rake over it”.
    But in practice, I would probably say:
    I don’t want to go over it any more
    I don’t want to talk about it any more
    I don’t want to even think about it any more – ever!​
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Dwell on' and 'rake over' are fine. 'Rake over' doesn't have to refer to an unpleasant subject. Neither of the other two work.
    The most natural verb is 'discuss', but that is a little abrupt, and you probably do well to avoid it. Another common verb is 'go over', but I cannot see it is any better than 'dwell on' or 'rake over'.

    Another way of saying it is 'let's not continue talking about it', which is a little friendlier.

    In BrE, 'any more' is two words, but it is 'anymore' in AmE.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In AE, you would say "I don't want to talk about it anymore." You and your friend are talking about it. This is a request to stop talking about it. Your other comments in the quote are all appropriate, and explain why you feel it is no longer worth talking about.

    Using any of the phrases ("rake over it" or "dwell on it" or "dissect it" or "dig into it") is making a commentary and a value judgement about the conversation you have been having (since you say "any more"). You are describing his actions as well as your own. This kind of labelling may cause offense or bad feelings, and it is not needed, so I would avoid it.
     

    Dunno123

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Thank you for your answers. I don't want to say "talk about it" (or "discuss", "even think") as this could imply that I don't feel comfortable talking about it or I don't have good arguments and I want to sweep it under the carpet, which is not the case and quite the opposite of what I want to stress. I wouldn't mind talking about it, but it's so complicated and exhausting to explain all the details and reasons even in more depth for the other person to understand, plus it's not relevant anymore (whether I am right or the other person is right won't change anything now), so I'd rather not go over (might be the best option?) it again anymore. I don't want to make it sound like it's an unpleasant subject to me, rather than an unimportant/irrelevant one at this point of time and not worthy of spending even more time on.
     
    Last edited:

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hi Dunno123, I think your intended sense could be expressed by keep doing something, so here "I don't want to keep raking it up", and since you have "keep", you don't need "any more" (AE: "anymore"), though it's not wrong. More options: "I don't want to keep maundering on about it (Longman). I don't want to keep dragging it up", "I don't want to keep dwelling on it", "I don't want to keep digging it up", "I don't want to keep going over it".
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don't want to say "talk about it" (or "discuss", "even think") as this could imply that I don't feel comfortable talking about it or I don't have good arguments and I want to sweep it under the carpet, which is not the case and quite the opposite of what I want to stress.

    … so I'd rather not go over (might be the best option?) it again anymore.
    Since those are three different reasons why someone might want to end a discussion, it’s not quite clear which of them you think those expressions imply. They can hardly imply three different things at once. (Or, if you think they can, doesn’t it follow that they can also imply your own stated reason?)

    If someone wants to end a pointless discussion on a subject that’s already been done to death, it could be for any number of reasons — all of which amount to the fact that they don’t want to go over it all yet again. (Yes, that is another good way of putting it.)
     

    Dunno123

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Lingobingo: It could imply anything (I didn't write it could imply all of that, I wrote "or"), I just didn't want to use a verb that would be ambiguous and would require further explaining on why I don't want to talk about it. Go over it all yet again which you just used yourself gives a clearer idea for example.

    Enquiring Mind: Thank you for your post. Lots of useful suggestions. Now this is probably how I heard the word "dig" used in a similar context.
     
    Last edited:

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I just didn't want to use a verb that would be ambiguous and would require further explaining on why I don't want to talk about it.
    But you did explain why, in the rest of your quote:

    "Forget it. It doesn't matter now anyway, it happened 2 years ago and I don't want to [...] it anymore. You keep your opinion and I will keep mine."
    That is a very clear explanation. You dont need to also use a verb "that unambiguously explains it". And there is no single verb in English that provides all this meaning.

    Edit: another verb in AE is "rehash", which means "talk about the same information again". You can replace "talk about it anymore" with "rehash it" (without "anymore").
     
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