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as I say now

English translation: so now go and do what I am telling you to do

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:as I say now
English translation:so now go and do what I am telling you to do
Entered by: literary
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08:37 Oct 27, 2007
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
English term or phrase: as I say now
Give up - so do I as I say now.
Simply: now when I'm speaking? Or is it deeper? From google, this seems to be an idiom.
literary
Local time: 00:10
so now go and do what I am telling you to do
Explanation:
Yes, but the idiom is in fact 'do as I say' — i.e. "do what I am telling you to do"

The 'now' doesn't have it's full value here of 'now, at this very time', but is just a sort of conjunction to take the speaker's train of thought from one thing to the next; it is often used to soften an imperative expression, and one might often say to a child "Now, be a good boy and fetch the milk", or more colloquially still, "Be a good boy, now, and fetch the milk"


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Note added at 8 mins (2007-10-27 08:45:59 GMT)
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Here's the much better explanation given of this aprtiucalr usage of 'now' by NS OED:

"II With temporal sense weakened or lost.
5 In or (later) as a command or request, or in a question, giving any of various tones (exclaiming, expostulating, reproving, soothing, etc.): I insist, I warn you, I ask, I pray, I beg, tell me. Also now then."

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Note added at 10 mins (2007-10-27 08:47:38 GMT)
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oops, sorry! ...this particular...

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Note added at 2 hrs (2007-10-27 11:08:19 GMT)
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I really think you are trying to make it more complicated than it is, and I certainly don't think your interpretation of "I'm giving up, so you should do so too" is correct at all; if it were "do as I do", then that might be implied; but here, it seems like quite the reverse:

"Go on, give up — admit finally that you're wrong and I'm right, and do what I tell you to do"

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Note added at 3 hrs (2007-10-27 12:19:16 GMT)
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Right! NOW I see what you mean — it's awful, I've read it countless times, and each time, only 'seen' what I was expecting to see!

OK, that does change things — I can't help feeling there is SOMEthing wrong with the sentence as it stands. I would feel much more at ease with a comma in there, like this:
"Give up - so do I, as I say now"

But the odd thing is, "so do I" doesn't really fit very well after "Give up" — one possible meaning would have been perhaps better expressed as "Well, give up then! I'm going to do so too.."

'give up – so do I' just doesn't ring true with me.

Or else "Well, you give up, and then I will too."

And the "as I say now" sounds odd too — if it means what I thought, requiring a comma before it, then I'd have expected it to be "as I now say" — but even that sounds pretty stilted.

All depends on the context in which this appears, and the overall quality / style of the English, which is quite impossible to judge from such a tiny extract.

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Note added at 4 hrs (2007-10-27 13:05:11 GMT)
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No, it is neither: "now that I'm speaking" or "as I already said a moment ago" — though it is very difficult to be sure with this apparently flawed sentence

But I would understand 'now' as meaning 'the present situation (compared with the previous situation)' — the suggestion is perhaps that the person has changed their mind, from what they though then to what they think now

'say' doesn't have a sense of 'talk/speak' here, more the sense of 'express/hold an opinion'


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Note added at 9 hrs (2007-10-27 17:58:29 GMT)
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RIGHT! Now we at last have a meaningful amount of context, all is revealed! Of course, we need to know what comes before, and, more crucially, what follows. Here is a more meaningful chunk of the original text:

[a letter to the Earth from Mars]
"...and you’ve already blurted yes take me yes how can I resist yes I give up yes. So do I as I say now, you’ve already done it, you’re in my arms like an infant, a ward, a swan. Give up, you gave up already, you’re mine."

The author's use of punctuation isn't exactly helpful, but it DOES make sense:

So do I... refers to what has gone before; arguably, the 'I give up', but debatably also what precedes this in the letter anyway.

...as I say now... would be easier to follow if the reported speech that follows had been in quotes, thus:

...as I say now, "You've already done it..." etc.

So I too am giving up (etc.) in the very act of saying this at this juncture.

I'm sure the experts among you will be able to analyse it a whole lot better than I, but I just wanted to point out that having the full context really does make all the difference here!

[Oh, and as a footnote, and due reverence for the 'celebrity' of the author notwithstanding, this 'fine, very cared-for page' does indeed include at least one typo — though it most certainly isn't the 'I' we've all been worrying about above!


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Note added at 13 hrs (2007-10-27 21:40:12 GMT)
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The language makes sense, as it stands, though the philosophical message behind it remains rather more of a mystery to me. I think it is just the author's style of punctuation that leads to confusion...
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 00:10
Grading comment
After further analysis, well, I've decided it IS a typo, because a leading Polish dictionary gives the example: do as I say! rób, co ci mówię!=do what I'm telling you to do.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5so now go and do what I am telling you to do
Tony M
5about the saying...
Heidi C
4The 1st I seems to be a typo.Alexander Demyanov
3as I say, (give up) nowBabelworth


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
as i say now
as I say, (give up) now


Explanation:
see parenthesis

Babelworth
Congo, Democratic Republic
Local time: 23:10
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
as i say now
The 1st I seems to be a typo.


Explanation:
http://jonathanlethem.com/giveup.html looks like it could be your original or very close to it. If that's the case then the 1st "I" is just a typo, and the meaning of the close is "do what I'm telling you to do and do it now".

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Note added at 6 hrs (2007-10-27 14:50:50 GMT)
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Celebrities make typos, have to eat, sleep, etc., like the rest of us. Celebrities' secretaries make typos. Editors overlook mistakes. I've seen typos in the New York Times, and you better believe they have an editor or two there.

Alexander Demyanov
Local time: 18:10
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 7
Notes to answerer
Asker: Well, well, well. You've found a beautiful, very cared-for page (congrats), and you claim it's a typo? Yes, this is the text, now you have the full context. Maybe you'll convince me, but look, this text had been read by other people than Lethem before it got to me, by editors. Lethem is a celebrity.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Tony M: No, no, on the contrary — the sentence is convoluted, but it DOES make perfect sense, and there is no need to presume a typo
5 mins
  -> In fact, now I've found us the full context, and it's clear that it must be a typo. If you read the preceding context carefully, you'll see that the 1st I doesn't make sense, not before, not now.

agree  Heidi C: though this is not the original question, the first I makes absolutely NO SENSE.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Heidi!
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
as i say now
about the saying...


Explanation:
The saying is "don't do as I do, do as I say"
Meaning, more or less, though I do not do what I preach, you should. (an example: parents who smoke, telling their children not to smoke)

for this phrase, with that "I" and trying to understand the meaning in time of "now", I think more context is needed. What comes before or after?




Heidi C
Local time: 18:10
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
do as I say, now
so now go and do what I am telling you to do


Explanation:
Yes, but the idiom is in fact 'do as I say' — i.e. "do what I am telling you to do"

The 'now' doesn't have it's full value here of 'now, at this very time', but is just a sort of conjunction to take the speaker's train of thought from one thing to the next; it is often used to soften an imperative expression, and one might often say to a child "Now, be a good boy and fetch the milk", or more colloquially still, "Be a good boy, now, and fetch the milk"


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 mins (2007-10-27 08:45:59 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here's the much better explanation given of this aprtiucalr usage of 'now' by NS OED:

"II With temporal sense weakened or lost.
5 In or (later) as a command or request, or in a question, giving any of various tones (exclaiming, expostulating, reproving, soothing, etc.): I insist, I warn you, I ask, I pray, I beg, tell me. Also now then."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 mins (2007-10-27 08:47:38 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

oops, sorry! ...this particular...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-10-27 11:08:19 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I really think you are trying to make it more complicated than it is, and I certainly don't think your interpretation of "I'm giving up, so you should do so too" is correct at all; if it were "do as I do", then that might be implied; but here, it seems like quite the reverse:

"Go on, give up — admit finally that you're wrong and I'm right, and do what I tell you to do"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2007-10-27 12:19:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Right! NOW I see what you mean — it's awful, I've read it countless times, and each time, only 'seen' what I was expecting to see!

OK, that does change things — I can't help feeling there is SOMEthing wrong with the sentence as it stands. I would feel much more at ease with a comma in there, like this:
"Give up - so do I, as I say now"

But the odd thing is, "so do I" doesn't really fit very well after "Give up" — one possible meaning would have been perhaps better expressed as "Well, give up then! I'm going to do so too.."

'give up – so do I' just doesn't ring true with me.

Or else "Well, you give up, and then I will too."

And the "as I say now" sounds odd too — if it means what I thought, requiring a comma before it, then I'd have expected it to be "as I now say" — but even that sounds pretty stilted.

All depends on the context in which this appears, and the overall quality / style of the English, which is quite impossible to judge from such a tiny extract.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2007-10-27 13:05:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

No, it is neither: "now that I'm speaking" or "as I already said a moment ago" — though it is very difficult to be sure with this apparently flawed sentence

But I would understand 'now' as meaning 'the present situation (compared with the previous situation)' — the suggestion is perhaps that the person has changed their mind, from what they though then to what they think now

'say' doesn't have a sense of 'talk/speak' here, more the sense of 'express/hold an opinion'


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2007-10-27 17:58:29 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

RIGHT! Now we at last have a meaningful amount of context, all is revealed! Of course, we need to know what comes before, and, more crucially, what follows. Here is a more meaningful chunk of the original text:

[a letter to the Earth from Mars]
"...and you’ve already blurted yes take me yes how can I resist yes I give up yes. So do I as I say now, you’ve already done it, you’re in my arms like an infant, a ward, a swan. Give up, you gave up already, you’re mine."

The author's use of punctuation isn't exactly helpful, but it DOES make sense:

So do I... refers to what has gone before; arguably, the 'I give up', but debatably also what precedes this in the letter anyway.

...as I say now... would be easier to follow if the reported speech that follows had been in quotes, thus:

...as I say now, "You've already done it..." etc.

So I too am giving up (etc.) in the very act of saying this at this juncture.

I'm sure the experts among you will be able to analyse it a whole lot better than I, but I just wanted to point out that having the full context really does make all the difference here!

[Oh, and as a footnote, and due reverence for the 'celebrity' of the author notwithstanding, this 'fine, very cared-for page' does indeed include at least one typo — though it most certainly isn't the 'I' we've all been worrying about above!


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 hrs (2007-10-27 21:40:12 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The language makes sense, as it stands, though the philosophical message behind it remains rather more of a mystery to me. I think it is just the author's style of punctuation that leads to confusion...

Tony M
France
Local time: 00:10
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 44
Grading comment
After further analysis, well, I've decided it IS a typo, because a leading Polish dictionary gives the example: do as I say! rób, co ci mówię!=do what I'm telling you to do.
Notes to answerer
Asker: "...as I say now, "You've already done it..." etc." A new theory (which I don't support), a new twist. Now I'm confused. But let's struggle on.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Patricia Townshend: The now could also indicate "immediately" - I would think it would depend on the context.
2 mins
  -> Thanks, Patricia! Clearly, since we now have the full context, any doubt is removed

agree  vixen
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Vixen!

agree  V_N: yes it definitely doesn't have anything to do with i give up so you should give up too. but more like "you're wrong or it's not working so give it up finally and do what i am telling you to do"
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, V/N!

agree  kmtext
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, KMT!

agree  Marina Lara Petersen
6 hrs
  -> Thanks, Marina!
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