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What the Hell do You Think You are Playing At?


The phrase "What the Hell do You Think You are Playing At?" is a remarkable expression which is basically "What are you doing?" but with several optional extras added on. The expression can be pedantically analysed as follows:

Firstly, the "Hell" part of the expression, which has very little to do with christianist mythology and is simply to add emphasis to the expression.

Removing it, this reduces it to "What do You Think You are Playing At?"

Next, the "Playing At" bit, which means that whatever action you are considered to be doing, you are not actually DOING it properly, but merely "PLAYING AT" doing it, in an implied childish or foolish way.

Removing it, this reduces it to "What do You Think You are doing?"

And then, the notion that it's not what you are DOING, but what you THINK you are doing, as if there is an implied disparity between these two concepts, such that you are misguided or deluded and are doing something different from what you are of the belief that you are doing.

This reduces it to "What are you doing?"

So to sum it up, a remarkably well-crafted construction of a single phrase involving several different aspects, and the inclusion of several emotive enhancements compacted into a single expression. It has a double implicit leading-question and on-the-fly expletive, which in only ten words is quite advanced.

Now, you might be wondering what the hell I think I am playing at; why someone clever enough to take something apart like that and pedantically explain it on a web page would be so foolish as to waste time actually doing so. Well I'll explain that too! This page is part of a large website www.zyra.org.uk which I run, and it attracts a lot of interest and makes money by people knowing about it. It's THIS BIG! People often look for things on search engines, but once they'd found my site, they are often clever enough to make a note of where it is so they can come back to it and have fun[ Have Fun Exploring Zyra's Website! ] using the site to learn about all sorts of strange ideas, find out where to get hard-to-get stuff, and buy all sorts of things online, which of course all helps!

Have fun exploring this site!