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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    I could just shoot you

    Everyday it seems I hear someone in conversation or on TV say two phrases:

    1. During an argument one person says to the other "I could just shoot you" for something (like painting the room red, or putting a black shirt in with the white wash etc. etc.) I think it was on the Big C TV series that the mom was mad at the son for giving away a car and during the argument she said "I could just shoot you for....."

    2. On the latest VW commercial two boys are standing next to a crashed car and the one boy says with fear to the other boy, "My dad's going to kill me when I get home" .

    Does this just mean very great annoyance or is this a violent statement?

    Also what about that TV show "Just Shoot Me". Obviously not violent

    These two phrases just seem to be said in everyday conversation all the time...

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I could just shoot you

    Quote Originally Posted by drcpas View Post
    Everyday it seems I hear someone in conversation or on TV say two phrases:

    1. During an argument one person says to the other "I could just shoot you" for something (like painting the room red, or putting a black shirt in with the white wash etc. etc.) I think it was on the Big C TV series that the mom was mad at the son for giving away a car and during the argument she said "I could just shoot you for....."

    2. On the latest VW commercial two boys are standing next to a crashed car and the one boy says with fear to the other boy, "My dad's going to kill me when I get home" .

    Does this just mean very great annoyance or is this a violent statement?

    Also what about that TV show "Just Shoot Me". Obviously not violent

    These two phrases just seem to be said in everyday conversation all the time...
    You say that you are a native English speaker living in the USA, have you really no idea about this?

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: I could just shoot you

    This actually came up during a discussion with an individual that is a non-native speaker (from Ethiopia). Since then it has morphed into a discussion between friends. Now I'm wondering how you experts would approach this. There is a surprising lack of discussion regarding these very very common two idioms (?) on the internet.

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    #4

    Re: I could just shoot you

    Obviously the imagery is violent, but it is usually hyperbole.

    Of course, if you run around town saying you're going to kill somebody and then he ends up dead, it's not going to look good for you when you're in court.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I could just shoot you

    Wasn't photography a huge part of that show? I never watched it, but I thought this was the case, so that "shoot" was a play on words.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. Newbie
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    #6

    Re: I could just shoot you

    So this comes close to the friendly controversy. I do not see any violence in this statement because it is so common and is used daily by so many if not by most people. My argument is that it becomes obvious that individuals will not shoot/kill their kids, friends, spouses for making the white shirts permanently gray, or wrecking the family car. They might be highly annoyed or hopping mad but it really doesn't connote any violence. That wouldn't even cross my mind, but this opinion is not shared by everyone in my circle. It would seem that if there was any violence threatened one should call the authorities. Also we think its odd that for such common phrases there's really no discussion of this anywhere that we could find. I think it means highly annoyed and nothing more but maybe if VW mom threatens son that "dad's going to kill him" for wrecking his dad's car someone should be called. I tried to explain this to our non-native friend but maybe I was incorrect. Also is this uniquely American?

  6. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: I could just shoot you

    Barb D.
    Thank you, as I recall it did involve photography, so I guess that would be a double entendre between a photography shoot and maybe "so you're exasperated with me but what are you going to do about it" kind of thing or a tongue in cheek "put me out of my misery" kind of thing . Still it does also come back to using the word shoot as an annoyance sort of word instead of a violent word.

  7. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I could just shoot you

    Quote Originally Posted by drcpas View Post
    So this comes close to the friendly controversy. I do not see any violence in this statement because it is so common and is used daily by so many if not by most people. My argument is that it becomes obvious that individuals will not shoot/kill their kids, friends, spouses for making the white shirts permanently gray, or wrecking the family car. They might be highly annoyed or hopping mad but it really doesn't connote any violence. That wouldn't even cross my mind, but this opinion is not shared by everyone in my circle. It would seem that if there was any violence threatened one should call the authorities. Also we think its odd that for such common phrases there's really no discussion of this anywhere that we could find. I think it means highly annoyed and nothing more but maybe if VW mom threatens son that "dad's going to kill him" for wrecking his dad's car someone should be called. I tried to explain this to our non-native friend but maybe I was incorrect. Also is this uniquely American?
    No, it's not uniquely American.

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: I could just shoot you

    It's certainly not confined to AmE. I hear/say quite frequently "I'll kill him if he hasn't walked the dog when I get in from work" or "If my boss keeps me late once more this week, I'm going to kill her!" or "Seriously, if I don't get around to hoovering tomorrow, please shoot me!"

    It's usually very clear from the context and the tone of voice whether or not we are remotely serious about it or if we are, as is normally the case, just using a well-known phrase.

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