3

Buffy: I don't care from private! I care from dead guys attacking us. I care from you Lost Weekending in your apartment.

(The Dark Age episode)

It occurs around 27:10. Here is a copy of the script: The Dark Age.

Is "care from" grammatical? Does it imply some strong emotion?

2
  • Where is the soundtrack? So we can hear it?
    – Lambie
    Sep 29, 2018 at 20:38
  • I downloaded the episode from Dailymotin.
    – Zak
    Sep 29, 2018 at 20:43

2 Answers 2

3

What it puts me in mind of is the common Jewish expression I don't know from. (Which just means, I don't know or I don't know about.)

The Jewish Language Research Website has a section on Yiddish and English that says:

A number of Yiddish idiomatic constructions have also entered colloquial English, such as the pattern I don't know from ___ (ikh veys nit fun ___).

So, having heard I don't know from in the past, it doesn't sound unusual for me to hear I don't care from in the same way.

My guess is it was not a mistake at all but a deliberate play on the more normal Yiddish English expression. Also note, as per a comment to the other answer, Billy Wilder, the director of The Lost Weekend, was Jewish.

4
  • 1
    That seems an incredible stretch to me since Buffy is the essence of American girlhood. I am pretty familiar with Yiddish-in-English turns of phrase and I have never heard this one. One website claims that. Other borrowings from Yiddish are much more common: I should tell you the story?For: I'm supposed to tell you the story? Or sentences with that: That I [etc.]. Anyway, I have never heard it. But, you might be right. So,it is not common.
    – Lambie
    Sep 30, 2018 at 16:20
  • @lambie I grew up with Jewish friends of the family. I assure you that I know from and I don't know from are phrases used all the time. (I have not heard I don't care from but it sounds like a tongue-in-cheek play on the more common expression. Something that Joss Whedon would have done.) Sep 30, 2018 at 16:23
  • 2
    +1 I was racking my brain all day yesterday trying to figure out where I recognized this from. I think you hit the nail on the head. I was leaning towards "US regionalism", but I think this is more accurate. It doesn't hurt to know that according to Wikipedia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays Buffy, has a Jewish background, and it's possible that such an expression might have come naturally to her.
    – Em.
    Sep 30, 2018 at 19:40
  • @Lambie At least in the TV show, Buffy's valley-girlishness wasn't her inalterable nature, it was more like a persona she chose because it fit her positive outlook on life (and because it annoyed Giles). She was established as smart. I think incorporating a Yiddish calque and a Billy Wilder movie into the valley girl act is something she could and would do in-universe. Also, I've heard "I [don't] know from" numerous times and immediately thought of it when I read the question. That may be an XKCD #1053 situation. Have you heard it since you wrote the comment?
    – benrg
    Jul 30, 2020 at 4:36
1

The transcript says: care from. That is meaningless in English in this context.

Yes, I heard the tape. She did say: care from. In any event, it is a mistake. The character Buffy always speaks perfectly idiomatic English and "care from" in that entire paragraph should be "care about".

If those who heard the tape, thought she said "care from", maybe she was overwrought when she spoke the line. It is simply senseless in English when one considers that every little thing in the entire script as posted is idiomatic.

The mistake is repeated three times in that paragraph: I don't care from private! I care from dead guys attacking us. I care from you Lost Weekending in your apartment.

7
  • The transcript was made in 1997. I'm not sure there was any voice-recognition software back then.
    – Zak
    Sep 29, 2018 at 20:48
  • 1
    @Zak Ok, you're right. Please bear in mind if everything she says is idiomatic, this is simply a mistake from nerves. That the director never bothered to reshoot.
    – Lambie
    Sep 29, 2018 at 21:06
  • 2
    @Zak I have no idea, I'm not clairvoyant. Maybe it's not even the final cut. We all say things sloppily at times. So who knows?
    – Lambie
    Sep 29, 2018 at 22:13
  • 1
    It seems like the last sentence has other errors too. "I care from you lost weekending in your apartment." Maybe "your lost weekend"? I don't quite understand what she was trying to convey there. Sep 30, 2018 at 2:36
  • 1
    @Aethenosity: “The Lost weekend” is a movie by Billy Wilder about and alcoholic writer. Buffy implies that Giles has been drinking.
    – Zak
    Sep 30, 2018 at 8:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .