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- “Really” in a negative sentence 5 answers
In the Chris Medina song "What are words", he sings "what are words if you really don't mean them when you say them?". I am a non-native English speaker, but to my ears that doesn't sound good. Had I written that song, I would have let "really" and "don't" switch places. I discussed this with my wife who insists the meaning would be exactly the same, but in my mind there's a difference.
I feel that "really don't mean them" conveys that the person uttering the words doesn't mean them, with an emphasis. He really doesn't mean what he's saying. The words go against everything he stands for. The other way around, "don't really mean them", to me means that he says something that he could very well stand behind, but in secrecy he doesn't.
Am I correct in asserting the above? If I am, what could be the reason mr. Medina chose this particular wording, as it doesn't fit very well with what the rest of the song lyrics express?