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  1. anhnha's Avatar
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    #1

    I do dismal.

    I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you're going to fail to have a great career. (Laughter)


    I'm an economist. I do dismal. End of the day, it's ready for dismal remarks. I only want to talk to those of you who want a great career. I know some of you have already decided you want a good career. You're going to fail, too (Laughter) because Goodness, you're all cheery about failing. (Laughter) Canadian group, undoubtedly. (Laughter) Those trying to have good careers are going to fail, because, really, good jobs are now disappearing.

    What is the structure of the sentence "I do dismal." in the above section.
    According to Longman English Dictionary "dismal" is an adjective and I feel that the sentence is ungrammatical.
    If possible please parse the sentence, I think some parts are omitted in the sentence but I am not sure.
    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: I do dismal.

    You would be correct normally. But he is not saying that he "does" in a manner that is "dismal." He is saying that his work as an economist means that he works in and is immersed in things that are dismal. "I'm going to tell you dismal things. It is what I do."

    Informally people can say what they "do" or "don't do" like this. Hand me a stinky baby and I'll tell you "I don't do diapers."

  2. anhnha's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I do dismal.

    Thank you,
    But he is not saying that he "does" in a manner that is "dismal." He is saying that his work as an economist means that he works in and is immersed in things that are dismal. "I'm going to tell you dismal things. It is what I do."
    Here dismal is an adjective and the full form of sentence is "I do dismal things"?
    Informally people can say what they "do" or "don't do" like this. Hand me a stinky baby and I'll tell you "I don't do diapers.
    Could you give me another example about this? This example is a bit difficult for me to understand that structure? I am not familiar with these terms.

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    #4

    Re: I do dismal.

    Quote Originally Posted by anhnha View Post
    Thank you,

    Here dismal is an adjective and the full form of sentence is "I do dismal things"?

    Could you give me another example about this? This example is a bit difficult for me to understand that structure? I am not familiar with these terms.
    "'Dismal' is what I do" would be a better way to understand it.

    Note I have added (single) quotes around the word "dismal." That may help you to understand the concept.

    Imagine someone organizes parties for a living. They might say "I do 'fun.'"

    If you ask someone at a high fashion clothing store when they are having a sale, they may tell you, dismissively, "We don't do 'sales.'"

    The dismal science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It may help to know that the person quoted in the original post is making fun of his own profession. Economics is know as "the dismal science."

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    #5

    Re: I do dismal.

    The lady who cleans the house says that she doesn't do windows. She will not clean the windows.
    I do the numbers for the company. I am involved in the accounting for the company.
    She doesn't do numbers. She does not do anything that requires her to work with numbers.

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