Re: wasting a lot of time and breath
When we say "Don't waste your breath", we mean "Don't bother saying anything, it's not worth the breath that you will use expelling the words from your mouth".
If I keep saying to a child "Don't stick your finger in that electric plug socket" and the child keeps sticking its finger in the socket, I would probably give up and say "I'm wasting my breath. S*d it. Let him electrocute himself!"
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