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I've heard this saying before but I'm blanking out. It sounds like 'take whatever you can from that' but it sounds wrong even after a couple of Google searches. I'm looking for the right way to say it—or write it in my case.

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  • It's basically an insult. You're frustrated that your meaning is not being conveyed. You give up on them, you don't care enough to explain in any greater detail, and so you give up on them.
    – AdamO
    Apr 20, 2023 at 0:30
  • A common British English refrain is "yeah whatever, mate"
    – Aaron F
    Apr 21, 2023 at 21:02

6 Answers 6

45
  • Make of that what you will.

The expression means that you can interpret something in any way you choose. It's an expression used when a situation arises that cannot be easily explained. It may be ambiguous; it may be surprising. It is open to interpretation.

  • The missing key was back on the table with no indication of how it got there. Make of it what you will.

  • Out of the blue he has agreed to stop smoking and return to the gym. Make of it what you will.

[Ronald Sole, ELL]

This is a standard expression, but as Ronald says, it is often used when referring to a perplexing situation / occurrence rather than to an open-to-interpretation statement / speech.

Examples referring to a ... deep? dubious? confusing? confused? obscurantist? ... statement are:

  • Mencken called the martini 'the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet' – so make of that what you will!

[Alex at 'Spirit of Harrogate']

The reboot of iconic ’90s drama Buffy The Vampire Slayer looks unlikely to see the light of day....

... after a long period of silence, The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top 5 podcast reported that executive producer Gail Berman described the project as “on pause”.

Hollywood Reporter’s West Coast TV editor Lesley Goldberg says a pause is “industry speak for purgatory, so… make of that what you will”.

[Charlie Duncan; The Pink News, 2022]

...............

A variant is

  • Read into that what you will.

[Collins example taken from The Guardian, 2015]

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  • 1
    This is the exact phrase I was looking for. Thanks!
    – MikeS
    Apr 20, 2023 at 5:23
  • 4
    Sometimes it's used sarcastically -- the implication is obvious, but you don't want to state it explicitly.
    – Barmar
    Apr 20, 2023 at 15:00
  • Perhaps helpful to note that 'will' here is being used in the sense of 'want' (as opposed to marking the future tense). That use is rare in modern standard English but this is a set phrase where it appears.
    – dbmag9
    Apr 21, 2023 at 11:43
6

I've also heard:

Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV)

My interpretation of that is: what I'm saying is true for me, it may or may not be true for you because you are a different person with different life experience etc.

Cambridge Dictionary

2

"For what it's worth" is common and seems to fit. Cambridge gives it as "[...] you are not certain if that information is useful or important", but that's roughly the same as "take whatever you can from that". Both cases have a sense of humility where if the advice is ignored, no offense will be taken.

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'I'm in control of what I say, not what you hear'

Source: a friend, a few years back.

Emphasis on the you.

Searched for it, apparently it's not a thing. Fits well as an answer though IMO 😎

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    I have also heard the insulting "I can explain it to you, but I can't make you understand it." I first heard this during a political debate in the Texas Senate chambers.
    – Wastrel
    Apr 20, 2023 at 13:59
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The modern version: "This is my truth".

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    – Community Bot
    Apr 21, 2023 at 0:02
0

Another similar phrase is 'you know best' for a person who insists on their view but you know for sure that they are wrong. An advantage of using this phrase is that it allows them to think that they have won the argument.

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