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I came across a quote today, it is,

As a person it's what's on the inside that counts. It's what's on the outside that matters.

Please explain the quote for me. Are count and matter opposites?

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2 Answers 2

In fact in this case, count and matter are actually synonyms.

count verb

3 [no object] be significant:
it did not matter what the audience thought—it was the critics that counted

matter verb [no object]

1 [usually with negative or in questions] be important or significant:
it doesn’t matter what the guests wear

Both from ODO

Both mean “is significant”.

However, I suspect that your quote is wrong, and it should be

As a person it's what's on the inside that counts. What's on the outside doesn't matter.

That is, it's someone's heart and intentions which are important, not what they seem to be.

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Or - what is on the inside is worthwhile to the world, but what is on the outside is what people care about –  mplungjan Mar 18 '13 at 14:02
@mplungjan It seems I'm just not cynical enough! –  St John of the Cross Mar 18 '13 at 14:09

In this example count and matter are synonyms. This is just a way of saying that they both count/matter, and lets the reader make his pick according to his principles :)

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