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Is the following sentence right:

"You got to have that satisfaction to never being satisfied"

English is not my first language and a friend of mine wants this as a tattoo. I can't shake the feeling that he will be walking around with a wrong sentence the rest of his life

  • This must be migrated to ell.stackexchange.com. – Lester Nubla Nov 18 '13 at 7:13
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    Upvote for being concerned with his friend. – Lester Nubla Nov 18 '13 at 7:24
  • It's definitely not grammatical, but it's a tattoo. The wording may have sentimental meaning, and I'd clear that up with your friend first. – tylerharms Nov 18 '13 at 8:15
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    @tylerharms The words do not have any sentimental value at all. He is a "bodybuilder" (and I take that term loosely). He just wants something that says: I am never satisfied with my body. And just like people that have a chinese tattoo wich says "Eggroll" in stead of "inner peace" I want to protect my friend from walking around with rubbish – Gutanoth Nov 18 '13 at 9:58
  • Tattoos aint no grammar nazis. – Kris Nov 18 '13 at 11:48
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To begin with it is not grammatical. To make it thus you would need to say

You have got to have that satisfaction of never being satisfied

And I also think 'that' should be changed to 'the'. The reason for my uncertainty is that the whole sentence sounds paradoxical. Can you be 'satisfied with never being satisfied'? Surely it can only happen if you are using 'satisfy' in different registers. And I am not at all clear that this is the case.

  • Thanks alot, I have to agree that it sounds a bit silly. But who am I to judge his choice of bodyart. – Gutanoth Nov 18 '13 at 7:22
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    WS2 answer is perfect but maybe the inscription could be shortened to: Be satisfied with being unsatisfied. (Somebody save this man's skin!) – Mari-Lou A Nov 18 '13 at 7:31
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    I agree that the end of the sentence should read "of never being satisfied" (or, alternatively, "to never be satisfied"), but not "to never being satisfied" – most certainly not on a tattoo of all things. – J.R. Nov 18 '13 at 10:01
  • @Mari-LouA I think you have perfectly hit upon what the 'tattooee' is wanting to say. But whilst a philosophical outlook can be a great strength in life, I agree this does carry a hint of resignation, and it troubles me. – WS2 Nov 18 '13 at 11:41

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