want to do something

Cub Pilot

Senior Member
Hello everyone,
what do you take don't want to read to mean in this context (JD Vance, 'Hillbilly Elegy', Introduction)?
...
The coolest thing I've done, at least on paper, is graduate from Yale Law School, something thirteen-year-old J.D.Vance would have considered ludicrous. But about two hundred people do the same thing every year, and trust me, you don't want to read about most of their lives.
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Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance:)
 
  • elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    It’s very literal. Can you explain what’s not clear to you?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    you don't want to read about most of their lives.
    You might think that it would be interesting, fascinating and/or pleasant to read about the lives of the majority of them and you might wish to do that, but let me assure you that, if that is what you think, you would be wrong. I am telling you this from my own experience and for the specific reason of saving you the time that you would have otherwise wasted. I will not explain why you should not read about their lives: I will leave that to your imagination, but, rest assured, this is good advice and that it would be a mistake to ignore it.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think the implication is much more clear than that. You don't want to read about them (and in fact you have no source to read about them) because it would be excruciatingly uninteresting. They are not worthy of reading about in the sense that they lead gray, cookie cutter lives working in tax law or corporate offices doing the equivalent of legal grunt work, even if it's at a very high level. Do you really want to read about the latest contract negotiations and what's in clause 652 regarding a proposed business merger between a specialty ball bearing manufacturer and a steel ingot producer? That's not considered interesting by the usual standards.

    Notice he says "most". That acknowledges that some of their lives might be very interesting, by any standard. Some go on to be Supreme Court justices, high level diplomats and things like that. He himself has the unusual background of having been born poor in the hollers of the Appalachian backcountry - not the usual starting point to go to Yale Law School. But most of his classmates were probably born in the suburbs to reasonably well off parents, went to good high schools and good colleges and wound up at Yale Law School, after which they got nice but fairly anonymous jobs in corporate America.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The coolest thing I've done, at least on paper
    He's saying that to the uninitiated, it might sound cool. But the reality is, it's not objectively that interesting most of the time. He probably thinks other things he's done in his life are "cooler" than his attendance at Yale.
     
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