Listen to me

Today’s Dilbert:

There are many cartoons on men not listening to their female partners or kids not listening to their parents, in the root sense of listen; from NOAD2:

give one’s attention to a sound: evidently he was not listening | sit and listen to the radio.

But there’s a specialized sense, in (for instance) a mother’s complaint that her kids just won’t listen, meaning they won’t obey. From NOAD2 again:

take notice of and act on what someone says; respond to advice or a request: I told her over and over again, but she wouldn’t listen.

The boss in the Dilbert strip sticks resolutely to the root sense, and disregards the suggestion in Alice’s plaint that he should act on what she says.

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