Now on The Pastry Box: Can’t

This month’s post on The Pastry Box is about using the word “Can’t”. When we use can’t, we frequently mean “won’t” or “haven’t considered” or “don’t want to”. My argument is that we should try to reserve “can’t” for times that you actually are not able to do a thing — for example, when you can’t talk to a satellite any faster than the speed of light.

Grace Hopper illustrates what it means when you can’t do something, at 4:23 in this video. (The rest of the video is worth watching too.)

I hope the next time we say we can’t do a thing, we mean we can’t do a thing — and if we won’t or haven’t considered or do want to do it, we’ll say that instead.

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