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So when his pupil master asked him to write an advice, he replied simply, "I would prefer not to." So, too, when HeadClerk instructed him to do a case in Slough, though this, it must be said, was[/has_googlemeta5][has_googlemeta6]. "I would prefer not to." 70 "You will not?" 71 "I prefer not." 72 I staggered to my desk, and sat there in a deep study. My blind inveteracy returned. Was there any other thing in which I could procure myself to be ignominiously repulsed by this lean, penniless wight?—my hired clerk? . Now that "I prefer not to" is one of the most mysterious and enigmatic sentences in American literature because just what it means to say, is not "I won't do it, try to make me do it," but I
"Prefer not to" is far more common (over 2100 instances in GloWbE, against 157 of "not/n't prefer to". I was going to say that there is a difference in nuance, that "not prefer to" means that the person has no preference, as opposed to a preference for the negative.. To prefer not to in this case is to reject the enjoyment one gets from the toxicity (obscene supplement) that ultimately keeps one invested in the very relationship that drives one mad. To prefer. "I would prefer not to.""You will not?""I prefer not." "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (1853) is a story of passive resistance. And as the narrator is forced to admit, "Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance." Refusing to kow-tow to the demands of his employer, and working to his own individual rule, Bartleby represents a challenge to capitalist . "I prefer not," Bartleby corrects—stumping his boss by substituting a mild preference for a stubborn desire. One clerk put their situation thus: One clerk put their situation thus: The interest which clerks generally feel in the business and success of their employers, is, I believe, estimated too cheaply and that many feel so little, is
B: I would prefer not. It seems that I would prefer not, without the infinitive marker to, is preferred when the preference expressed is for an outcome rather that an action. When we are talking about an action, the form with the marker is preferred. The response: I would prefer not to.. "At present I would prefer not to be a little reasonable,' was his mildly cadaverous reply." ― Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener. tags: reasoning, sanity. 16 likes. Like "Ah, Humanity" ― Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener. tags: self. I would prefer not to do it. Preferences in English are always expressed positively. It is the action which is negated. In other words, if you say eg I (would) prefer not to work on Saturdays, the thing which you don't want is " to work on Saturdays". You have a positive preference for not doing something.