How would you have interput this sentance?

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20 Dec 2007, 6:01 pm

Spokane_Girl wrote:
"I'm not talking to you anymore if you're going to be joking around."

A man and woman are in the car and the girlfriend is trying to have a serious talk but the guy keeps joking around by saying things he doesn't mean and the girl takes it all literal because she doesn't know he is joking and she gets confused and asks what does it have to do with what they're talking about and he says he is joking. The girl gets frustrated because her boyfriend always jokes around and is hardly ever serious so she tells him "I'm not talking to you anymore if you're going to be joking around."
But the guy gets mad and tells his girlfriend "That's rude."
Because he thought she would never talk to him ever again even though she clearly said she isn't going to be talking to him if he is joking around but the guy interputed it as she would never talk to him ever again.

This really did happen. The man and woman was me and my ex boyfriend (not my last one, the first one). My mom said he took it literal and I could never figure out how can you misinterput that sentence. I said "If you're going to be joking around." How could he have thought I was never going to speak to him ever again or for the rest of the day?

I have tried finding out the answer for it but never gotten any good answers or a logical explanation so I decided to bring it here since we're literal so maybe you can can help me out. How would have interputed that sentence if someone said it to you?

The sentence is literal to me because if my boyfriend wasn't going to be serious, why talk to him, it's a waste of my time. If he wants me to talk to him, he is going to have to be serious. If he is going to be joking around, I won't be talking to him. What part of "if you're going to be joking around" did he not get?

My current boyfriend told me he just wasn't listening and my current shrink said the same.

I'd say it was entirely his problem.Your statement was clearly a mild rebuke,
the sort of thing that partners often say to each other,for him not taking things seriously at the time.If he really cared he would have been concerned that he was upsetting you and wanted to make amends by doing as you suggested and stop joking around,or clear the air by asking what he could do instead of going on the defensive and making things more awkward.

I have lost the will to be apathetic

21 Dec 2007, 3:09 am

KimJ wrote:
I take the sentence literally and there is no room for interpretation.

What do you mean no room for interputation?

When you took it literal too, did you take it the same way I meant it?

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21 Dec 2007, 9:30 am

For me, it would depend on who said it. If a NT said that to me, I would take the entire sentence somewhat non-literally. NT say stuff like that a lot without literally meaning that they will never talk to the person again or that they will never talk to the person when he is in a joking mood. In most cases, it's just the kind of thing people say when they are angry, but it is mutually assumed that no permanent changes in policy are being threatened. So, if a NT said that, I would take it to mean something like the following:

"If you don't stop joking and be serious, I will not talk to you any more right now.

If someone with AS said it to me, I might be a little more concerned that they may actually be threatening a permanent change in policy. I would worry a little in this case because people with AS are more literal than NT.


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21 Dec 2007, 11:01 am

"I'm not talking to you anymore if you're going to be joking around."

My interpretation: A warning that if you persist in keeping me at a distance with your rapid-fire humor I'm not going to be around for you much longer.

Glad you able to walk away.


Formerly Bipolar


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21 Dec 2007, 12:36 pm

Room for interpretation means you can understand a word, phrase or utterance in different ways, and it depends on the context of the situation.
No room for interpretation means there is only one correct way to understand the utterance.
I based my opinion on what I said here;

It's in the subjunctive mood-which isn't used or understood much in English anymore-but it's not open to interpretation for any other context than the present one. "If you keep doing this, I will do that", you may not be doing "this", so I won't do "that".

We don't know for sure if this guy would have reacted the same way or differently if she had left out, "anymore". Really, we don't.

""I'm not talking to you, if you're going to be joking around." Is it really that different? "Anymore" seems to be signaling that she is talking and she will stop, if he continues to joke. The number of gerunds is more than necessary but it doesn't change the meaning of the sentence.

Besides what I said in the "possible reasons" he said you were rude, I also agree with pluto's comments. Ex-boyfriend started the rudeness and you were only letting him know that you weren't appreciating the nonstop joking.
I will also add that some complaints I have had that I've discussed with my psychologist have been dismissed as "sloppy communication". So, I wonder if that's their way of dismissing personality conflict? Even if you're right, the psychologist will tell you that it's not about "being right" but trying to communicate better.

Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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21 Dec 2007, 9:54 pm

who cares/

why in blazes does everyone have to play these stupid mind games/

drop him and get on with your life.

Do I know you ?

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22 Dec 2007, 2:48 pm

fall off, fall off! :D