I'm trying to maintain

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Shandol

Senior Member
Persian
- Look, when he sees you, he expects more from me. Don't you get that?
- Jon's got those macadamia nut cookies. I'm trying to maintain. You understand?
- Sure. As long as you understand I have to eat you.
Garfield: The Movie

Could the verb "maintain" be used intransitively, like the above? A question comes to the mind, "maintain what?".
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Some historical information may be helpful in clearing up the mystery, Shandol. Back in the 70s, U.S. speakers sometimes used the intransitive version of maintain to express something like control yourself/myself: (Ron) I can't wait till we get to the concert. (Larry) Maintain, dude. We still have another hour before we get to Denver.

    It was definitely a usage that I would categorize as youthful slang and it didn't last too long in popular speech, as far as I know. I have noticed that the copy in Garfield often contains words and phrases that were popular when I was a teenager.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I recall this as 1970s slang also. However I recall it as a word used if someone was tipsy or stoned and trying to keep a facade of normal behaviour, especially around authority or parents. In that case it would be shorthand for something like " maintain normal behaviour."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The bell that intransitive "maintain" rings for me is that of slimming clubs, when after the weekly weigh-in members may say they've gained, lost, or maintained - the unspoken object being weight.

    Is there any chance that 'maintaining his weight at the same level' is what the speaker is referring to?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    That's an interesting perspective, Loob. Garfield is something of a glutton. Perhaps he developed an interest in fitness and weight loss that I'm not aware of. If he did, I'll bet it didn't last long.:D
     

    Shandol

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thanks.
    Is there any chance that 'maintaining his weight at the same level' is what the speaker is referring to?
    Sorry, nope.

    That's an interesting perspective, Loob. Garfield is something of a glutton. Perhaps he developed an interest in fitness and weight loss that I'm not aware of. If he did, I'll bet it didn't last long.:D
    Sorry, I should have mentioned who the speaker of each line quoted in the OP was!

    Garfield:
    Louis! What are you doing in the house, when Jon's home?
    Louis:
    Sorry, Garfield. Man, I couldn't help it!
    Garfield:
    Look, when he sees you he expects more from me. Don't you get that?
    Louis:
    Jon's got those macadamia nut cookies! I'm trying to maintain. You understand?
    Garfield:
    Sure, as long as you understand that I have to eat you. [Louis moans]
    Louis is a friendly, cuddly, timid, gold-brown mouse, who often helps Garfield.

    Your comment gave me a chuckle at any rate. :)
     
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