Not not

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This is NOT a post about misnegation, a frequent topic at Language Log.  This is a reflection on the sublimity of nonnegation, which is not quite the same as transcendental affirmation.  It is a linguistic and philosophical inquiry on the absence of nothingness.

First comes the linguistics; at the end comes the philosophy.

In Mandarin, we have expressions such as the following, where the bù 不 doesn't seem to make any sense in terms of its usual signification — "not":

suānbuliūliūde 酸不溜溜的 ("sourish; quite sour")

For that matter, considering that suānbuliūliūde 酸不溜溜的 taken all together means "sourish; quite sour", the liūliū 溜溜 (lit., "slippery-slippery") part doesn't make much sense either.  Note that suān 酸 by itself means "sour".  Clearly, suānbuliūliūde 酸不溜溜的 ("sourish; quite sour")* does not mean exactly the same thing as suān 酸 ("sour"), but adds a special nuance.  The question, then becomes:  what do bù 不 ("not") and liūliū 溜溜 ("slippery-slippery") add to suān 酸 ("sour") that causes it to end up as suānbuliūliūde 酸不溜溜的 with the meaning of "sourish; quite sour")?

[*Mentioned in the "metaphor" chapter of Perry Link, An Anatomy of Chinese:  Rhythm, Metaphor, Politics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013), esp. pp. 191-93; cited here.]

For the moment, I will avoid a direct answer to that question but will observe that this bù 不 and the lǐ 里 / 裡 (lit., "in") of "tǔlǐtǔqì 土里土气 / 土裡土氣" ("countrified; rustic; uncouth; provincial") — discussed here — are what is known as infixes.**  Infixes are used in other languages too, but in Chinese they are more apt to cause confusion for people with compulsively analytical minds because (unless they happen to be written with a mouth radical, which may indicate that they are being used primarily for their sound) such syllables are written with characters that normally convey semantic content or possess grammatical functionality that is irrelevant in these idiomatic expressions.

[**Mentioned briefly in Yuen Ren Chao, A Grammar of Spoken Chinese (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London:  University of California Press, 1968), p. 257, where he renders suānbuliūliūde 酸不溜溜的 as "good and sour", and he does the same for expressions formed with the -li- infix, e.g., húlihútude 糊哩糊的 ("good and muddled").]

As further evidence that the liūliū 溜溜 (lit., "slippery-slippery") part of suānbuliūliūde 酸不溜溜的 is not semantically significant in a direct way, let us consider the variant Sinographic forms of this expression:

suānbuliūliū 酸不溜溜 (lit., "sour-not-slippery-slippery")

suānbuliūdiū 酸不溜丢 (lit., "sour-not-slippery-lose / throw")

suānbuliūqiū 酸不溜秋 (lit., "sour-not-slippery-autumn")

They all mean the same thing:  a more intense version of suān 酸 ("sour").

I asked a number of native speakers what they thought bù 不 is doing in these expressions.  Here are some of the responses I received:

1. It's not a marker for negative here. I don't know why the 不 is used here. I think it just represents a sound. Just a guess.

2. I think "不" here definitely doesn't function as a negative. Actually, It might have no meaning, only as modal particle to intensify the suān 酸 ("sour").

3. You are right, 不 is not a negative here. I think it is a particle for emphasis.

Note that suānbuliūliūde 酸不溜溜的 means the same thing as suānliūliūde 酸溜溜的, without the "bu 不" infix, so that is further proof that the "bu 不" doesn't in any way negate the basic meaning of suān 酸 ("sour").

Some other similar expressions:

huībùliūdiū 灰不溜丢 (lit., "gray not slippery lose / throw") or huībuchūliū 灰不出溜 (lit., "gray not emerge slippery"), a kind of gray color that looks dim; dull grey

hēibulājǐ 黑不拉几 (lit., "black not pull several") or hēibuchūliū 黑不出溜 (lit., "black not emerge slippery") or hēibuliūqiū 黑不溜秋 (lit., "black not emerge autumn"), a kind of dim / dull and dusty black

hǎobùkuàihuó 好不快活 (lit., "good not quick live" –> "very not happy"), "very / so happy" [Google Translate understands this, but Baidu Fanyi and Microsoft (Bing) Translator do not]

hǎobùwěi 好不委屈 (lit., "good not entrust injustice" –> "very not wronged"), "[feeling] very wronged / aggrieved / mistreated"

But don't get too confident that you have now mastered the nonnegativity of bù 不, because here's a humdinger for you to mull over for the rest of your life, as I have been pondering this paradox of negativity and positivity for decades:

hǎobùróngyì 好不容易 (lit., "good not allow easy") = hǎoróngyì 好容易 (lit., "good allow easy") = bùróngyì 不容易 ("not easy")!

For example:

Wǒ hǎobù róngyì cái xuéhuì yóuyǒng.

我好不容易才学会游泳.

"It was not easy for me to learn how to swim / I spent a lot of time and made great effort to learn how to swim / It was only with great effort that I learned how to swim."

N.B.:  I haven't provided a literal translation of each syllable because you're already familiar enough with the hǎo 好 ("good") and the bù 不 ("not"), and the rest is fairly straightforward.

The previous sentence means the same as this one without the bù 不:

Wǒ hǎo róngyì cái xuéhuì yóuyǒng.

我好容易才学会游泳

"It was not easy for me to learn how to swim / I spent a lot of time and made great effort to learn how to swim / It was only with great effort that I learned how to swim."

Now, prepare to have your mind completely blown away.

A highly literate native speaker actually sent me this sentence:

Wǒ hǎobù bù róngyì cái xuéhuì yóuyǒng.

我好不不容易才学会游泳.

"It was not at all easy for me to learn how to swim / I spent a great deal of time and made a tremendous effort to learn how to swim / It was only with very great effort that I learned how to swim."

The second version does sound surpassingly strange, but this construction does occur on the internet:

"我好不不容易" 4,500 ghits

Cf.

"我好不容易" 486,000 ghits

and

"我好容易" 426,000 ghits

Although the first iteration about learning to swim with great difficulty, with its two adjacent bù 不 — bùbù 不不 — is genuine (perhaps some sort of brain stutter on the part of the person who sent it; nearly everybody would consider it "incorrect"), I suspect that some young members of the internet generation (conscious of the contorted irony of the hǎobùróngyì 好不容易 [lit., "good not allow easy"] construction meaning the same as hǎoróngyì 好容易 [lit., "good not allow easy"] without the bù 不 ["not"] — Chinese people do talk about this; see the first few entries here) may be using it playfully.

I cannot emphasize too strongly that, in daily usage, the sounds of the language are more important than the meanings that are conventionally associated with the characters that are used to write them.  To be a good reader of Chinese, you have to know when to put the surface signification of a character in the back seat and figure out what its sound is doing in a given construction.

Finally, to close this post on infix "bù 不" — "not 'not'", as it were — here is one of my all time favorite Mandarin adjectival expressions:  shǎbùlèngdēngde 傻不愣登的 ("daffy").  I'm not sure that I've written it with the "right" characters, but, forsooth, the only character out of the five that imparts relevant semantic content is the first, shǎ 傻 ("fool[ish]").  (The literal meanings of the characters are:  "stupid / silly / foolish — not — stunned / distracted / stare blankly — ascend / step on — adjectival suffix" [the third character may be tangentially somewhat relevant]).  I forget exactly how I learned this magnificent expression, probably from some old missionary writing, but I acquired it as part of my vocabulary during the first year of Mandarin study, and I've treasured it all the five decades since, just as I've treasured my pet snail Arnold for the past five years.  Come to think of it, they're both in their own way emblems of an essential eternality:  neti neti.

Neti neti, meaning "Not this, not this", is the method of Vedic analysis of negation. It is a keynote of Vedic inquiry. With its aid the Jnani [VHM:  wise or knowledgeable one] negates identification with all things of this world which is not the Atman, in this way he negates the Anatman. Through this gradual process he negates the mind and transcends all worldly experiences that are negated till nothing remains but the Self. He attains union with the Absolute by denying the body, name, form, intellect, senses and all limiting adjuncts and discovers what remains, the true "I" alone. L.C.Beckett in his book, Neti Neti, explains that this expression is an expression of something inexpressible, it expresses the ‘suchness’ (the essence) of that which it refers to when ‘no other definition applies to it’. Neti neti negates all descriptions about the Ultimate Reality but not the Reality itself. Intuitive interpretation of uncertainty principle can be expressed by "Neti neti" that annihilates ego and the world as non-self (Anatman), it annihilates our sense of self altogether.

Source (with slight modifications by VHM)

Not (this) not (this).

[Thanks to Maiheng Dietrich, Fangyi Cheng, Jing Wen, Jinyi Cai, Yixue Yang, and Melvin Lee]



18 Comments »

  1. Victor Mair said,

    April 15, 2017 @ 3:22 pm

    From Qi Ruan:

    "Wǒ hǎo(bù) róngyì cái xuéhuì yóuyǒng 我好(不)容易才学会游泳 ("It was not easy for me to learn how to swim") reminds me of another mysterious usage of Chinese:

    dǎsǎo wèishēng 打扫卫生 ("cleaning [up]")

    It's wèishēng 卫生 ("health; sanitation") already, but we still need to dǎsǎo 打扫 ("sweep; clean").

  2. Jichang Lulu said,

    April 15, 2017 @ 4:57 pm

    花不楞登,土不拉叽,绿不兮兮,蔫不唧唧…

    Another source of non-negative 'not': disyllabic spellings of Old Chinese prefixed forms in the Classics, such as 不来 for 狸, 不盈 for 盈. There are also examples with 无. The classical commentaries on these can be a bit puzzling, with statements of the form 'not X means X'. Studied by Sagart, Boltz, Behr who has a nice list here.

  3. WSM said,

    April 15, 2017 @ 5:23 pm

    It's interesting to observe that this usage of 不 is observed as early as the Tang Dynasty 变文:"雀儿烦恼,两眉不皱" – when clearly the magpie's brows *are* furrowing (quoted in the "Dictionary of Tang and Five Dynasties Chinese Phrases"《唐五代语言词典》p. 29). I wonder whether any other characters phonologically similar (either then or now) to 不 are ever used in the same way, or if ultimately the usage *did* somehow evolve out of the semantics for "not" (can't see how that would be). In any case, it would be neat to look at some more examples of the usage in the usual places where old vernacular is preserved i.e. lyrical poetry and drama.

  4. cameron said,

    April 15, 2017 @ 5:29 pm

    Can't these idioms with infixed "not" be understood as a kind of litotes? If not, why not?

    Another question, how is this "not" related or not related to the 無 negative character so important to Zen Buddhism?

  5. Neil Kubler said,

    April 15, 2017 @ 6:51 pm

    As we all know, language is not always logical. I think the reason that
    我好容易才学会游泳 means the same as 我好不容易才学会游泳 is irony or sarcasm. Compare English "I could care less" and "I couldn't care less," which also mean the same. There are other interesting "not not" (double negative) constructions in Chinese like the following:
    他中了頭彩好高興!= 他中了頭彩好不高興!
    'He was very glad to win first prize.'
    一個人難免出錯 = 一個人難免不出錯 (related to inherent negative meaning of 免)
    'It's hard for a person to avoid (not) making mistakes.' [in English also it works with or without the negative]
    今天我差一點被汽車撞到 = 今天我差一點沒被汽車撞到 (related to semantics of "almost")
    'Today I almost (didn't) got hit by a car.'
    他差一點淹死 = 他差一點沒淹死
    'He almost drowned.'
    她偏巧來了。她偏不巧來了。
    "She turned up against expectations."
    I think these sentences probably involve identical surface structures deriving from two very different deeper structures.

  6. Daniel Tse said,

    April 15, 2017 @ 7:53 pm

    > Another source of non-negative 'not': disyllabic spellings of Old Chinese prefixed forms in the Classics, such as 不来 for 狸, 不盈 for 盈.

    Could the 不 in these cases be a fossilisation of an initial *bl- in Old Chinese, pronounced instead as two syllables?

  7. satkomuni said,

    April 15, 2017 @ 10:05 pm

    Aw. I was expecting it to end with something about how 'nothing' doesn't have a word.

  8. Joyce Melton said,

    April 16, 2017 @ 1:06 am

    Chemistry? Soap and many other slippery substances are alkaline; sour is the perception of acid; acids are the opposite of alkalis.

    Logic, pehaps, has no place in the discussion of linguistic quirks.

  9. flow said,

    April 16, 2017 @ 4:10 am

    @Joyce Melton I was thinking the same and at first didn't find the thought of 酸得溜溜 (refreshingly sour?) as opposed to 酸得好澀 (too sour, so sour as to be astringent) strange; but I must say I find the kind of reactions that 不 enters into in these various expressions hard to explain. Especially the part about 我好容易才学会游泳 meaning the same as 我好不容易才学会游泳 tripped me up in a place where I had felt safe. The floating tyre that I can try and hold to is the 才 which sort of warns you that whatever happened could *only* happen because reason, so maybe it's one of those "can care less" / "can't care less" -type constructs.

    The discussion reminds me of 莫 (not) as used in 莫高, where it means "very" and is comparable in meaning to 至高無上. I think I have seen it explained as having a hidden 有 in there so 莫高 can be understood as 沒(有)(更)高(的).

    A monk asked his master, Does negation have Buddha-nature? The master smiled and exclaimed, 不無誤悟!!! The monk didn't fail to attain anything, but the other disciples walked away with the understanding that the answer had been No.

  10. Samuel Buggeln said,

    April 16, 2017 @ 8:38 am

    I'm trying to think of a context in English where we would use a negative as an intensifier— it happens for example in a very slangy (maybe Ar-Am or otherwise "urban" space) when you could reply to "That's great, right?" with "Naw, man, that's great."

  11. WSM said,

    April 16, 2017 @ 9:27 am

    @Samuel Buggeln – "ain't no way I'm doing that!" : "ain't" is an intensifier.

    Which doesn't mean that "ain't" is "just a sound" without semantic significance: given the presence of such double negatives in many languages I'm not entirely convinced it's correct to gloss the 不 in things like "好不痛快!" either along the lines of the Tang Dictionary or as a transcription of a phonetic intensifier without any semantic meaning.

    Evidence to the contrary might take the form of characters other than 不 but phonologically similar (at the time at least) being used in corpus like the 变文, in which case 不 might be viewed in the same category as characters like the "家" in "人家" which do reflect spoken usages (again from Tang and Five Dynasties period) that were ossified into the written language. But even then, it's difficult to tell whether it really is just a transcription.

  12. Ray said,

    April 16, 2017 @ 9:49 am

    recently on the news I heard an interesting (to me, anyway) kind of not-not statement. it was when united airlines ceo oscar munoz said, "no one should ever be mistreated this way." it made me wonder why he didn't say, "no one should ever be treated this way" (and it seemed he was oddly leaving the door open for how someone *could* be mistreated, or ought to be mistreated). in other words, 'mistreatment' itself wasn't being negated, but rather that it should happen to anyone at all — which is another kind of negation of 'mistreatment.'

  13. Jichang Lulu said,

    April 16, 2017 @ 11:05 am

    @Daniel Tse

    Yes, that's how those 不's, 无's and other such characters are interpreted. Actual reconstructions of such prefixed words are proposed in the Behr paper I linked to in my previous comment (towards the end of the .pdf), and in many other places. For example, the idea is that 狸 was spelt 不来 because the OC pronunciation was something like *p(V)lVj. Likewise, somewhere in the Shi jing there's a 无念 in a context that appears to mean 'don't remember your ancestor', rather the opposite of what the poem seems to be all about. The Mao commentary has one of those shocking 'not X means X' annotations, and modern scholars interpret the two characters 无念 as just the same word as 念, with an *m- prefix spelt out.

    The examples with 无 and 不 are sort-of relevant to this thread because they are negations (@cameron: 无/無 and 不 are indeed related or not related, in that they both have 'negation' semantics and can precede things they 'negate', but as far as I know no one thinks they are etymologically related (older forms are reconstructed with *m- and *p- respectively), and at a given stage of a given Sinitic language that contains both they are often semantically separate, e.g. with 无 meaning 'there is no' and 不 'does not'; but that leaves out many complications, and several other negations, some etymologically related to these two). But there are other such 'spelt-out prefixes', involving no negation, but characters used for their sound regardless of their usual meaning, a recurring theme of Victor Mair's posts. While the non-not examples with 不 and 无 come from early texts like the Shi jing, non-non-not examples with other prefixes appear to occur in modern Sinitic topolects. A famous example given by Marjorie Chan in the '80s is a Cantonese form 胳肋(底) meaning 'armpit', where 胳肋 is apparently pronounced something like k(V)lak, presumably reflecting an old cluster in Old Chinese for 胳. I think there are examples of this phenomenon in Mandarin topolects as well. More generally, attempts have been made to explain certain disyllabic morphemes as two-character spellings of Old Chinese prefixed monosyllables. This has probably been discussed on LL before.

    @cameron and others: I think the 不 in Adj + -bulaji, -buliudiu… has been interpreted as carrying some negational, or rather negative, semantics by some scholars. Maybe not as a litotes ('not unsour'), or a rhetorical question ('isn't it sour?'), but simply as 'negativity', expressing displeasure or disbelief ('immoderately sour, white, uncultured …'). That might be the origin of some of these expressions, or some of them could have taken the -bu- from another one where it really meant not, but I'm sceptical about a general 'negative' semantics for this entire group of adjectives. For example, this type of interpretation tries to read bu as some sort of negative, without attempting a character-based interpretation for other syllables in those forms, such as the -xixi in 二不兮兮 (something like 'helplessly silly' – I might have invented or misremembered that one). Crucially, while this might not be true of the handful of non-not tetrasyllables that made into Standard Mandarin, some topolects can use some of these endings more or less interchangeably with others that don't contain the -bu- part. For example, in certain cases -bulaji could be interchangeable with something like -gelaji or -bageji or -lazhir. I'm being intentionally vague, since off the top of my head I can't produce a concrete example from a specific topolect for which I can safely claim this is the case. This and the following statements are meant as conjectures.

    I suspect that the only role -bu- has in topolects where these suffixes are most productive is something like 'providing a labial of velar stop'. Many of these di- and trisyllabic endings (some can be disyllabic + erhuayin) contain a -la- or -lie- or -li-, often surrounded by syllables with b- (ba or bu), g- (ge) or j- (ji). (In particular, answering to WSM, I think -ba-, perhaps spelt 巴, can appear in a similar position to 不, but I'm not sure if interchangeably.) I would see the -bu- occurring in those cases as perhaps not even an infix, but just one syllable occurring within some members of a family of non-monosyllabic bound adjectival intensifiers with generally negative connotations invoked by sounds like -gela- or -bula-. (Perhaps this is a bit of a stretch, but those combinations somehow recall the (inordinately euphonious) expletive malagebi.) Again all this is conjectural, and would need to be checked against the evidence from specific topolects (MSM certainly doesn't furnish such evidence). And again again, this analysis doesn't preclude an origin of some of these expletives containing -bu- by analogy with constructions where -bu- does or did mean 'not'.

    It would also be interesting to explore early occurrences of intensifiers with -bu-, although I'm not sure what to make of the example WSM quotes from a Tang transformational text.

    To add something on the Indian theme towards the end of the post, talk of not-not brings to mind Nāgārjuna's catuṣkoṭi 四句法, a logical principle involving four disjoint possibilities: a proposition, its negation, both and neither. This involves some sort of logic (obviously not Boolean propositional logic, but there has been more than one proposal as to what the best model could be) that allows for the non-equivalence of both p and not p, on the one hand, and neither p nor not p, on the other. I doubt the negations involved in this mode of Buddhist logical reasoning are terribly relevant to the semantics of 'not' in natural languages like Chinese (influential though Nāgārjuna 龙树 might have been in Chinese Buddhist thought), but they do bring the point home that Boolean negation isn't necessarily the best interpretation of naturally occurring 'not's (as in, not generated by logicians with the express purpose of building non-Boolean logics).

    I think Neil Kubler's Chinese and English examples are the best way to approach the 好(不)容易 example, which doesn't look that shocking in that context. Cross-linguistically, it is not generally the case that the minimal syntactic process that has the effect of adding a 'negation' to a sentence (as in, the process that 'just' adds a word such as 'not', and makes any required changes in e.g. morphology or word order) results in a sentence interpretable as the logical negation of the original sentence. I think this is uncontroversial, and doesn't involve getting into a discussion of what type of 'logical negation' could be relevant, if any. All the equations in Kubler's comment can be seen as illustrations of this, in that switching to the side of the equation that contains one more negation does not result in the logical negation of the other side. Admittedly 好(不)容易 is unusually funny, and has the advantage of the not and not-less versions being interchangeable in the standard language, while one half of '(ir)regardless' and 'could(n't) care less' is unacceptable to many. But there are other examples of the phenomenon: in French there's the ne explétif, that can also result in equivalent ne and ne-less pairs.

    To summarise, I think the post, or at least my comment, can be related to three different aspects of Chinese 不: first, one where little or no negational semantics is involved, and the character 不 represents the sound of an unrelated element (as in 不来 and, I conjecture, -bulaji, -buxixi); second, cases where 'negations' like 不 do carry a form of negational semantics, but their role isn't that of negating a sentence they've been added to (ain't got nothing, (il n')y a personne, avant qu'il (ne) soit trop tard, никого нет, Kubler's equations, that still make 好(不)容易 unusually funny, but not unusually illogical); finally, uncommon situations, such as Chinese texts using the catuṣkoṭi mode of reasoning, in which multiple instances of negations such as 不 can be strictly meant as logical negations of entire statements they've been added to, but require a non-Boolean logical analysis that e.g. can make p and not p nonequivalent.

  14. Victor Mair said,

    April 16, 2017 @ 11:27 pm

    In the name Mògāo kū 莫高窟, mògāo 莫高 is usually explained as "none-higher", hence "Caves of Unsurpassed Height".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogao_Caves

  15. flow said,

    April 17, 2017 @ 6:38 am

    Ohnegleichen / unvergleichlich … nonpareille … fuji 不二. So it's not the negation that's too much, it's the indication of a comparative mode that's lacking.

  16. Jichang Lulu said,

    April 18, 2017 @ 3:25 pm

    In a discussion of Tianjin suffixation, Bin Juan gives several additional examples of adjectives with non-negational bu. Many are not unique to the Tianjin topolect, but the paper has a nice table in the appendix so it's a handy reference. Highlights:

    酸 suan 'sour' + 不达 -buda

    Examples of what I had in mind when I referred to similar suffixes with and without -bu-, such as:

    傻 sha 'silly' + -bulaji, -lebaji, -lageji, -bujiji…

    (At least some of these variants are widespread in Mandarin topolects, even if they might not be considered normative/standard Mandarin.)

    This shows -bu- in a clearly non-negative role similar to other infixes, such as -ba-, which is indeed close in sound, although they don't appear to be interchangeable. The real smoking gun comes now:

    Variants of 甜 'sweet' + 丝丝 -si(r)si(r) (甜丝丝 tiansīsī is standard Mandarin) with an infix, that can be -ge- (各/格…) or -bu-. For Tianjin, Bin Juan says the forms with and without -bu- have "no big difference in meaning."

    Far from Tianjin, 酸/甜 'sour/sweet' with alternating -gesisi and -busisi can be heard in the Shaanxi song 崖畔上的酸枣红艳艳, sung by Shaanxi soprano Dong Hua 董华. She alternates -ge- and -bu-. Googling for the lyrics, results show versions with only -bu-, only -ge- and combinations of both, showing that -bu- is interchangeable with another infix. Regardless of whether this -bu- element is derived from negative bu, in this context it's clearly no more of a negation than -ge- is.

  17. william holmes said,

    April 20, 2017 @ 9:28 am

    I find several phrases in the pattern of VHM's 酸不溜溜 in " 北京话语词汇释" (Beijing 1987):
    (1) 甜不剌迹 【的】tian2 bu la1 ji1
    (2) (adjective) 不剌基 【的】. . . bu la1 ji1
    (There is an overlap between (1) and (2)).
    (3) (adjective) 不剌撒 【的】. . . bu la1 sa1
    (4) (adjective) 不几几 【的】. . . bu ji1 ji1
    I posit a pattern viz. in each phrase, an adjective followed by 不 and then a doubled syllable (which in these examples is always first tone); then a final 的. Thus, I think, an end-of-sentence flourish in which 不serves only a phonetic role.
    (Apologies if the above repeats prior posts, which I haven't yet managed to read in their entirety).

  18. Guy A said,

    April 24, 2017 @ 9:49 am

    This reminds me of the song 我管你 by 华晨宇 [Huà Chényǔ].

    Not sure what the best translation for the title should be, but maybe something like "I (don’t) care about you", or simply "I ‘care’ about you"… (or maybe "Like I care about you")?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C02OeG_T7Lc

    At any rate, every time he sings "I care" (我管 or just 管) he means "I don’t care about"… or "I don’t give a f***"

    For instance:
    "我管你的感受"
    Google translate suggests it is "I manage your feelings", but obviously, it means "I don’t care about your feelings".

    More examples:
    管你什麼想法 我是我自己的表達
    管你什麼看法 我的世界我來浮誇
    哦~我管你說得多複雜
    […]
    管你什麼說法 當我是傻或是笑話
    管你什麼辦法 別幻想我淪落倒下

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