Dissecting English: I don’t care VS I don’t mind

12:11:00 PM

To set the record straight, my English was nowhere near perfect. I am just a Band 4 of MUET if you must gauge my competency in English (I can’t recall my result for IELTS though. LOL).

But after two incidents which I think and felt a bit absurd, I just had to write about this, since nobody will listen to me if I rant at work. We got so many things to do anyway. -.-

The first incident happened about a year ago. I was watching TV, TV1 to be exact and in the program, a VJ was asking the public about their opinion on something. I think it was about kraftangan or something like that… and the respondent, a she, was issuing statement in English. I felt a bit weird about it since the question was posed in Malay, but anyway. That’s not the point.

And there’s this part where she goes…

“Either way, I don’t care.”

And my right eyebrow goes up.

I wonder how the reporter reacted. Did he have a what-the-heck face on or he doesn't even realise what the woman had said?

Because I was distracted by the sound of my baby crying at that time, the incident was wiped away from my mind until few days back.

I am having my lunch and I was alone. There’s these three ladies seated not far away and I can hear them talking. I wasn't eavesdropping; I don’t need to since they were talking loudly at that point.

They were largely gossiping - of course, who does’t love to gossip - but I heard few English words and sentences were used. Grammatically incorrect, at most. But in my humble opinion, there’s nothing wrong about that as long as the message went through.

But later, I find myself raising my eyebrow yet again.

“Alah, budak-budak… biarlah dia main asalkan they all happy.”
“Betul, betul. In fact my little boys loves that place a lot.
“Alah, parents lain memang… ada je yang tak kena. I don’t care my kids bercampur dengan other kids yang buas ke, apa ke. Biar dia orang tu tegap sikit. Nanti lembik.”

And I was like…

Errr… excuse me? Do you mean I don’t care or I don’t mind?

Maybe I was being a little too sensitive about the usage of those two almost identical but different expressions. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. Because in my dictionary,

1. I don’t care = Saya tak peduli, apa nak jadi pun jadilah.
2. I don’t mind = Saya tak kisah, mana-mana pun boleh.

I do agree they are alike in some ways but I don’t care is such a harsh sentences to go to when you actually mean #2.

Just imagine, your husband asked,

Nak makan apa malam ni? KFC ok tak..?

And you said,

I don’t care.

When you actually mean, I don’t mind. Ada jugak periuk belanga terbang nanti.

To be safe, please don’t use it interchangeably, because, maybe, at one point of your life, you are going to eat your words.

Cik Atun: I prefer lemonade though.

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