[Vocabulary] I passed it off as just in keeping with something.

beachboy

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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"?
 

kilroy65

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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)
 
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beachboy

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So, in other words, the singer pretended that the girl's attitude was just in accordance with her disconcerting air? Pretended? To whow?
 
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kilroy65

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

Tdol

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

beachboy

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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....."?
 

emsr2d2

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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 ...".
 

beachboy

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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"....
 

Lynxear

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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.

 

beachboy

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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"?
 

Lynxear

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Something like "I preferred to believe"?

It sort of means that except you don't care if you are right or wrong. It does not matter much to you. However, you might change your mind about that "something" if it does matter at a later time.
 
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