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  1. #1
    beachboy is offline Key Member
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    I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

    The lyrics to a song by Bread called "Diary" say "When she confronted with the writing there (she) simply pretended not to care. I passed it off as just in keeping with her total disconcerting air". What does "to pass something off as" mean? Can I "pass somebody off as something", like "I passed my friend off as a bad guy"?

  2. #2
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    kilroy65 is offline Member
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    Re: I passed it off as just in keeping with something.


    pass something off as something (also pass off something as something): to pretend that something is different from what it really is


    Mother would never try to pass off supermarket cookies as homemade, would she?
    The senator passed his impolite language off as “the way we talk where I come from.”

    pass yourself off as somebody: to pretend that you are someone else

    Maurice is trying to pass himself off as a journalist to get admitted to the press conference.

    (The Free Dictionary)
    Last edited by kilroy65; 05-Aug-2017 at 16:13. Reason: Formatting

  3. #3
    beachboy is offline Key Member
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    Re: I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

    So, in other words, the singer pretended that the girl's attitude was just in accordance with her disconcerting air? Pretended? To whow?
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 05-Aug-2017 at 17:37. Reason: Deleting unnecessary quote.

  4. #4
    kilroy65's Avatar
    kilroy65 is offline Member
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    Re: I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

    I guess (since these are song lyrics) that he pretended to believe she didn't care.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

    I guess he thought she cared more but pretended it was in keeping with her general air of nonchalance.

  6. #6
    beachboy is offline Key Member
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    Re: I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I guess he thought she cared more but pretended it was in keeping with her general air of nonchalance.
    But in this case, wouldn't the lyrics be "SHE passed it off as just in keeping with her total....."?

  7. #7
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

    I think the "he" in Tdol's response refers to the singer of the song (male). Song lyrics don't necessarily follow the rules of grammar, as demonstrated by the first few words of your quote - "When she confronted with the writing there".

    Grammatically, it would be either "When she was confronted with the writing ..." or "When she confronted me/him/her/us/them with the writing ...".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
    beachboy is offline Key Member
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    Re: I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I think the "he" in Tdol's response refers to the singer of the song (male). Song lyrics don't necessarily follow the rules of grammar, as demonstrated by the first few words of your quote - "When she confronted with the writing there".

    Grammatically, it would be either "When she was confronted with the writing ..." or "When she confronted me/him/her/us/them with the writing ...".
    Ah, this construction "she confronted" was also annoying me. "She was confronted" made me much happier. Anyway, it's easier for me to understand "she passed it off...", meaning that SHE pretended, than "I passed it off"....

  9. #9
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    Lynxear is offline Senior Member
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    Re: I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

    Quote Originally Posted by beachboy View Post
    So, in other words, the singer pretended that the girl's attitude was just in accordance with her disconcerting air? Pretended? To whow?
    No, I don't think he "pretended" anything here.

    I passed it off as just in keeping with her total disconcerting air

    To me it means that he is not sure why she acted the way she did. He just attributed her behavior to the her personality as he knew it.

    When you "pass something off" or "pass off something" it does not really mean that much to you.

    He passed off the criticism that he was acting irresponsible. He had more important issues to respond to if this was to be done right.

    Experience is recognizing a mistake the second time you make it.
    You don't go to an Englishman when you want good pierogi.

    - Wisdom from my father

  10. #10
    beachboy is offline Key Member
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    Re: I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynxear View Post
    No, I don't think he "pretended" anything here.

    I passed it off as just in keeping with her total disconcerting air

    To me it means that he is not sure why she acted the way she did. He just attributed her behavior to the her personality as he knew it.

    When you "pass something off" or "pass off something" it does not really mean that much to you.

    He passed off the criticism that he was acting irresponsible. He had more important issues to respond to if this was to be done right.

    Something like "I preferred to believe"?

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