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I was discussing something on another SE site(link). The discussion with full context is,

I searched and found two recent mechanics questions which got migrated to Phys.SE, 1 and 2. Note that problem solving questions aren't allowed on Phys.SE, only conceptual questions are. So homwork questions migrated from MSE can be closed there. — user103816 yesterday

@user103816 These two aren't math questions at all... By the way, 10k users can check the list of recently migrated questions here. I count six questions migrated to Phys.SE in February. Only one of them had some amount of mathematical content, and in that case the OP requested themselves for the question to be migrated. – Najib Idrissi yesterday

@NajibIdrissi Both of them are classical mechanics questions. Classical Mechanics is a well known field of Mathematics. – user103816 yesterday

Classical Mechanics is not a field of Mathematics. – quid yesterday

"Classical Mechanics is a well known field of Mathematics." Do you even listen to yourself...? – Najib Idrissi yesterday

  • Is the phrase "listen to yourself" some idiomatic expression? Or does it literally ask me can I listen to myself. What does it mean?
  • When is it used? Does it have a negative connotation?

Now let us discuss the exact phrase, "Do you even listen to yourself...?". As I understand it is asking me do you listen to yourself with emphasis. What I am confused about is whether it says me that I do not listen to myself all the time I say something, or, just that I didn't listen to myself only when I wrote that "...well known..." sentence. E.g. consider the sentence "Do you even wash hands". To me it appears that someone is implying that I never wash hands, that is a an every-day(continuous) type action. I cannot conceive a one-time type sentence with wording "Do you even xyz".

  • Is the sentence "Do you even listen to yourself...?" a continuous type question or one-time type?
  • What does the three dots after 'yourself...' mean?
  • As a native English speaker if you put yourself in my position then how much negative that sentence would sound to you? That is what is its level of negativeness? Is it simply rude or highly humiliating?
  • Another thing that user Mar Amezani said is that 'even' gives the sentence some negative cannonation and if it is replaced by 'ever' then the sentence is okay. How is the sentence Do you even listen to yourself...? different from Do you ever listen to yourself...? Is the second version a continuous type action sentence or one-time type?
  • For a decision with no possible mistakes, you would want to get the whole context. But I think it means that you should first think about what you're saying. – M.A.R. Feb 20 '15 at 11:01
  • @MARamezani Should I give a link to the actual discussion? – user31782 Feb 20 '15 at 11:04
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    That would be really helpful to decide if the guy intended to write something with a negative connotation. – M.A.R. Feb 20 '15 at 11:05
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    I don't think "listen to yourself" is inherently negative, but when put in the form of a question – Do you even listen to yourself? – that sounds like it's intended to be negative most of the time. – J.R. Feb 20 '15 at 11:22
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    It seems rather rude. It's too bad the flag was declined―that sort of reply could easily be written in a more neutral fashion. – snailcar Feb 20 '15 at 19:15
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"Classical Mechanics is a well known field of Mathematics." Do you even listen to yourself...? – Najib Idrissi 19 hours ago

The user "Najib Idrissi" asks the author of the sentence Classical Mechanics is a well known field of Mathematics. to read that statement for themselves. Najib makes sure that the author will realize the scientific mistake in that sentence and, in short, "will come to their senses."

It's like your friend has told you something very oddly wrong, and you didn't expect him to say so. You tell him/her to listen to himself/herself, so that s/he will realize the mistake they've made. In this case, it seems very rudimentary to the mathematicians that "classical mechanics" are a physics' subject, and hardly related to math. So, "well known", as it means that "many are familiar with it being a part of mathematics" seems a very idiotic expression to them, as if the author didn't know what they were typing, or simply, talking about.

If you ask me, there is a bit of negative connotation in this sentence, but it wouldn't be considered as offensive. (As "offensive" is too strong for it)

In fact, the expression "listen to yourself" is commonly used in the area of philosophy when there's a speak of art of communicating between humans.

philosophy reference 1

philosophy reference 2

The third

And this is a nice example of a similar usage. (Though it contains the expression and not the exact question)

in Google books

  • As a side note, "even" in the "do you even listen to yourself?", could be understood as a negative connotation increase remark, but for some others, it might not. – M.A.R. Feb 20 '15 at 11:45
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    To me "Listen to yourself" seems ok but "Do you even listen to yourself" seems negative. It sounds like he is asking me have you ever listened to your self, that is do you ever think carefully about what you say. – user31782 Feb 20 '15 at 11:54
  • @user31782 As I understood from the meta.math.SE link that you provided, you weren't the one being "attacked" (if we can call it that) and, "Do you ever listen to yourself?" is different from "Do you even...?". You can't say that for sure, the author had an intention for attacking. Plus, of course the writer's question is no "walk in the park", but "offensive" manner is very different from a single rhetorical question that wants the author to think about what they're claiming. – M.A.R. Feb 20 '15 at 11:56
  • I am user103816 there. What does these type of sentences mean: "Do you even wash hands after eating food"? Does it mean that someone is asking whether you wash hands every day after eating, or does it mean that someone is asking whether you washed hand recently(only once not everyday)? – user31782 Feb 20 '15 at 12:01
  • @user31782 firstly, sorry, it came to my mind that you were the poster of the question in that meta. And, "Do you even wash hands...?" is about a continuous action (you eat food three times a day) but the meta.math issue is about a one-time claim. – M.A.R. Feb 20 '15 at 12:09
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"Do you even listen to yourself?" is an insulting reply to a statement that is perceived by the listener to be patently absurd. The listener who asked the question is saying that the statement was made in haste, thoughtlessly, without thinking. If the first speaker stopped to think about what he said, he would realize the ridiculousness of his statement.

The elipses at the end just signify that this is a well-known expression that does not need to be finished. An implied finish would be "..speaking such drivel?" or some such.

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I would go ahead and say, yes it is an idiomatic expression and it does not literally mean whether you can listen to yourself or not, and yes it is used as negative criticism, it just means the person who asked you "do you even listen to yourself?" thought something that you said/replied/mentioned was illogical or weird or outright stupid.

Lets assume a hypothetical conversation between a martial arts trainer and a die hard video game enthusiast (MA - Martial Artist; VG - Video Gamer)

MA - I have been training hard for 10 years

VG - So have I

MA - I can take on 15 guys at the same time in real life

VG - I know so many spells that no one dares to pick a fight with me

MA - I have a black belt in Karate i can beat you anywhere any time

VG - I am a lvl 68 super awesome mage I can beat you even before the fight starts

MA - do you even listen to yourself?

Here in this conversation the Martial Artist is talking about real life situations and real life prowess, but the Video Gamer is applying his digital life powers to real world scenarios which is absolutely stupid and so the Martial Artist asks the Video Gamer "do you even listen to yourself?".

A question like "do you even listen to yourself?" in essence is

1) Idiomatic -it means something else entirely 2) Rhetoric - It tries to prove a point, it does not warrant an answer.

"Listen to Yourself " is an idiom meaning " Consider what you are saying and think about the logic of it and how creepy/weird it might sound before you say it out loud " so when someone asks you "do you even listen to yourself?" they are trying to ask you " Do you consider what you r saying, before you say it? and/or Do you know how stupid that sounds?". So it is most certainly negative when someone uses "do you even listen to yourself?" on you.

P.S : No offence meant to Video Gamers, I myself am a regular player of League of Legends.

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    This isn't an idiom; the meaning of the phrase is in fact the literal meaning of the words. However, the question is being asked rhetorically, to signal that the statement made was ridiculous. An actual answer is not expected or really desired. – Esoteric Screen Name Feb 20 '15 at 11:54
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    @EsotericScreenName I understand where you are coming from, yes it is does seem like it literally means "do you listen to what you are saying ", but what is the point in asking if someone is listening to themselves or not, the point is to tell them that they sound stupid and ask them if they realize it or not, I smell an idiom there. – NANDAGOPAL Feb 20 '15 at 12:01
  • Hello Nandgopal. Thank you for the answer. I've edited the question to elaborate it further. Could you also explain these issues. – user31782 Feb 21 '15 at 10:00

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