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What does

I can't not get the song out of my head

mean? I have looked on this site for clarification but still can't find my answer.

marked as duplicate by Blessed Geek, anongoodnurse, snailboat, Monica Cellio, Mitch Dec 14 '15 at 2:22

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  • It is either a mistake for "I can't... (get it out of my head), or a misspoken expression. As it is, it actually doesn't make sense; it's saying "I can't think of the song." – anongoodnurse Dec 13 '15 at 23:59
  • The above doesn't quite make sense, but it would make sense to say, eg, "I can't not play music", if one feels that playing music is essential to one's "self". – Hot Licks Dec 14 '15 at 0:29
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Strictly speaking, "I can't not do X" means "I am unable not to do X". In this context, your sentence could be paraphrased as "I am unable to not get the song out of my head", or more simply "I can't keep the song in my head."


However, double negatives are often, although incorrectly, used in English to signify negatives. It's quite likely that the sentence you've read is an example of this, simply a miswriting of the much more commonly heard sentence

I can't get the song out of my head,

since not being able to get a song out of one's head is a more frequent complaint than not being able to keep it in one's head.

  • I know it is a duplicate question, but I think this answer meets OP's question. – haha Dec 14 '15 at 12:27

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