Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Not Trying To vs. Trying Not To

I have come across many people in my life who don't seem to know the difference between "not trying to do something" and "trying not to do something." For instance a person elbowing you in a booth at a restaurant, because you are left handed and the person to your left is right handed and you are trying to stay in your space but they keep ELBOWING YOU and finally you say "Hey, could you not do that please?" and their retort is usually, "I wasn't trying to elbow you..." with a shitty sneer, because they are likely your sibling and so they have that sneer for no reason you can ascertain because you are a darling little sister and/or brother and you don't know what you have done to deserve this treatment and it's probably just hormones but it hurts your feelings and arm, nonetheless, and really, their retort means nothing because what you wanted from them is that they try NOT to elbow you because you think your arm might be beginning to bruise.

So here are some handy graphics to illustrate the difference between "not trying to" and "trying not to" for people who may not recognize the difference:

(image sources:  Kim Jong Un & Dalai Lama)
Nope, Kim Jong Un is not TRYING to start a war. He wants to bomb the crap out of us, but not really looking for a war. Dalai Lama on the other hand, totally peaceful and awesome, and speaking of awesome...

(image sources Jennifer Lawrence & Ann Coulter)

I think we can all agree that Jennifer Lawrence is absolutely awesome without trying... and that Ann Coulter is absolutely succeeding at not being awesome.

And two videos to illustrate our last set, which also illustrates how to be a creepy Weeping Angel Kitty...

Not trying to make noise

Trying not to make noise


  1. I officially love you 9105709157x as much as I did before. Probably one of the MOST frequent arguments with my boy-children goes like this:

    me: You have a crappy attitude, and you're being snide and rude to your brother.
    kid: I'm not trying to.
    me: I don't care whether or not you're trying to do it, TRY NOT TO DO IT.

    xoxoxoxo x a billion.

    1. It was something I said approximately 42 billion times while I was a teacher.

  2. These are perfectly wonderful and important distinctions that need to be made! Love it!


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