I am well aware that our troop of Charioteers have many languages between them, some with great fluency. I am, in comparison, a mere amateur in this game, but I love to dabble and, on occasion, play the pedant.
As an aside, before I get really stuck in, how’s your Indonesian? Mine is very limited, but I was recently reminded that if an English-speaking person says “I am sorry”, it sounds almost exactly the same as an Indonesian-speaker saying “Ayam sore”. Which can lead to all sorts of amusing outcomes, because – as I’m sure most of you know – it means “Chicken afternoon”. Almost, but not quite, Chicken Tonight – remember that?
But let’s delve into colloquial English. I have noticed that Christopher – whose command of English is fantastically good for an Americanised Hun – has recently taken to using various tenses and moods of “I can’t be asked” with the meaning of “I can’t be bothered”. Whoops – wrong!!!
Now I know it sounds almost like that, and I know that some web pages declare that it should be that, but they’re mistaken. It’s actually “I can’t be arsed”. There are many other English verbs that can be used in this context without changing the meaning, but “to ask” is not one of them. There are other English sayings with the same root – “Get off your (fat) arse and do some work”, and “Put your arse in gear and get started”.
So it doesn’t actually matter one jot or tittle, but please modify your spelling next time Christopher, or new readers might gather the impression that you “don’t know your arse from your elbow”.
Finally, to ensure that I upset everybody, may I point out that it’s “Let’s up the ante“ rather than “anti”. The ante is the amount each person has to put into the pot before the next hand is dealt. An entry fee, as it were. It’s the latin for before, which makes sense when you think about it!
Another, even bigger smilely.