Last time I expressed the idea "don't pass me" I used the phrase: Please don't miss me.

I want to use the meaning of "miss" in this sentence: It would be just his luck to miss the last boat.

It seems that I made a big mistake. Still I felt awkward.

So what are the possible meanings of "miss" in different situations?

  • What do you mean by 'don't pass me'? What is the context? – Mynamite Oct 22 '14 at 22:30
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    Jimmy, did you mean "Please don't pass me over" or "Please don't pass me up" as in, "Don't overlook me", "Don't forget about me", "Don't miss the opportunity to hire me".? In any case, your original phrasing, whole not communicating the idea you wished to express, is in no way offensive, insulting, vulgar, or derogatory. At the very worst, it's a bit cute (like when a kid mis-pronounces a word in an adorable way). What you said, just in case you don't know, is "Please don't feel melancholy or sad at my absence", like you'd say to a family member or friend who is going on a long trip. – Dan Bron Oct 22 '14 at 22:40
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    people say "i missed a boat, missed a buss". Can I say "I missed him this morning", but not the meaning of "i miss by mother, I miss my girlfriend". – Jimmy Oct 22 '14 at 22:42
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    @Dan Bron, yes. You hit it. Thank you very much! What I want to mean is similar to "Don't miss the opportunity to hire me". And now I know in which situation I should use "don't miss me". I am sorry I exposed my poor language skills by this fault :) – Jimmy Oct 22 '14 at 22:43
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    @Dan Bron: Yeah - with people, it's always the quiet ones you have to watch, but with words it's always the little MF's. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Oct 22 '14 at 23:03

A person is not an event. The default meaning of miss when applied to a person is to have longing for reuniting with, that is, to an emotional response.

The sense of miss you mention when describing a boat, is not the boat itself, but the window of time when it was possible to board the boat. When we say we missed the last boat home, we mean that we missed the occasion of the last boat home boarding; when we arrived at the boat launch, the boat was no longer there or admitting passengers so we missed the opportunity to take the boat. In other words, an event, a happening localized in time.

It is possible to use this latter sense of miss to refer in the same way to people as to your example boat. E.g.

I tried to get here before he left for the day, but I missed him.

But note that to invoke this secondary meaning, there has to be some event that is pretty clearly alluded to. The deliberate absence of such allusion is actually a means by which wordplay is conducted on this pair of meaning, e.g.:

"I missed you!"

"Aw, I didn't know you felt that way about me."

"No, I mean, I tried to beat traffic to your office to give you a ride, but by the time I got there, you were gone."

One way to disambiguate the terms is to use the idiom miss out on and which must always be followed by the opportunity in question:

"I missed out on the the opportunity to go to law school."

Are you perhaps trying to tell someone not to miss out on some opportunity to do something with you? In which case you might say something like,

"Don't miss out on this opportunity to work with me."

That would be well constructed English that will be understood in the way intended, though whether it is effective rhetorically among English speakers is a separate question.

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If you tell somebody "Don't miss me", you are commanding him or her to stop missing, or desiring, your company.

Here are some easy and clear examples:

*I overslept and missed the train today. (self explanatory)

*The laptop's power cable is missing.

*The missing child was found wandering not far from home.

*Don't miss your old neighborhood, the people there did not appreciate you.

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"Miss" can mean two things here: to fail to hit a target, or an emotional response to loss.


I missed you when I tossed the ball

I missed you while you were away

Telling someone not to "miss" you only makes sense if they are throwing/launching/shooting something to/at you, or if you do not want them to feel sad about you being gone.

If you didn't mean either of those things, then your comment will be misinterpreted. Depending on the situation, either or both meanings could be embarrassing.

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