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Thread: turn on a fool

  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    turn on a fool

    When during a discussion someone pretends that he doesn't understand what his opponent has said and completely ignores the arguments given, we in Russian might describe the behaviour as "turning on a fool". For instance: Don't turn/switch on a fool. You've got what I mean. ​Are there English expressions conveying the idea?
    Last edited by GeneD; 25-Mar-2019 at 16:50. Reason: mistake
    If it's not too much trouble to you, could you please correct any errors I might have made in this post?

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    #2

    Re: turn on a fool

    Don't play the fool has a similar meaning. It literally means "don't act like a fool."
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: turn on a fool

    "Don't play dumb" is the exact equivalent you're looking for.

    "Don't play the fool" means something else. As GS says, it means you really are being foolish, not just pretending.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 24-Mar-2019 at 19:10.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  4. probus's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: turn on a fool

    Yes. We call it "ordinary American political discourse "
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    #5

    Re: turn on a fool

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Yes. We call it "ordinary American political discourse "
    Yes - like when we argue about Brexit!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #6

    Re: turn on a fool

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yes - like when we argue about Brexit!
    I am very glad you mentioned Brexit , Charlie because it gives me a chance to say this.

    The actual words of Teresa May have now become indistinguishable from the satire of Hugo Rifkind. She said, just the other day, "People who say they know what we are doing are lying because we don't even know what we are doing (sic)."
    Last edited by probus; 24-Mar-2019 at 20:01. Reason: Correct punctuation

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    #7

    Re: turn on a fool

    That phrase says Don't act like a dumb .

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    #8

    Re: turn on a fool

    Quote Originally Posted by swara31 View Post
    That phrase says Don't act like a dumb .
    No it doesn't. "Dumb" is not a noun, so it's not possible to act like a "dumb".
    I am not a teacher.

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