Pay to ignore

Posted by Smokey Stover on January 14, 2005

In Reply to: Pay to ignore posted by Jou on January 14, 2005

: a nice suggestion but one every developing country should pay to ignore.

: 'pay to ignore'? why one has to pay to ignore? Could you explain a little bit please?

: Many thanks!

Would it be instuling to suggest that the author of thewuatoed phrase is not a native speaker of English? A more idiomatic clause might be: "a nice suggestion, but one that it would pay a developing country to ignore." Not a smooth clause in any case, and I'm not sure if the author's meaning is the same as that of the clause I concocted. "It would pay you to ignore that advice" is a way of saying that your best course, a course that it would pay you to follow, would be to ignore the advice. Pay, in this case, means to benefit you, to give you the best result, and therefore be more profitable to you. Money, of course, is only sometimes how your pay appears. The phrase is figurative, in most cases, the pay being in terms of welfare or benefit. "It would pay him to get his brakes fixed." It's not really different from some uses of "pay off," as in, "Getting his brakes fixed would pay off in the long run." SS