selfish

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How (something) can you be?

A rhetorical question used to indicate that someone or something shows an extraordinary amount of some negative characteristic or trait. Now the banks are talking about selling off people's mortgages to vulture funds to make a quick buck. How greedy can you be? My roommate turned off the house's hot water heater over the winter break because he thought it would save energy, but all the pipes burst and the entire house flooded. Man, how dumb can you be?
See also: can, how

How (something) can you get?

A rhetorical question used to indicate that someone or something shows an extraordinary amount of some negative characteristic or trait. Now the banks are talking about selling off people's mortgages to vulture funds to make a quick buck. How greedy can you get? My roommate turned off the house's hot water heater over the winter break because he thought it would save energy, but all the pipes burst and the entire house flooded. Man, how dumb can you get?
See also: can, how

how selfish, stupid, ungrateful, etc. can you ˈget?

(spoken) used to express surprise or disapproval that somebody has been so selfish, stupid, etc: I can’t believe he didn’t even say thank you. How ungrateful can you get?
See also: can, how
References in periodicals archive ?
Genuine selfishness is a profound moral achievement possible only to the degree that one holds "reason as [one's] only absolute," rationally pursues life-promoting values, and recognizes the moral right of each individual to live for his own purposes and happiness.
Godspeed, then, which took her nine years to finish, became a journal of her spiritual evolution: It chronicles the period when Breedlove lived in such a self-obsessed cloud of speed, sex, and selfishness that no one liked her.
But they would do well to rely less on defenses of the right to be left alone, which can be interpreted as mere selfishness and hence something easy to dismiss.
Other top annoyances included not switching off mobile phones in meetings, leaving jammed printers for others to fix, selfishness, spreading rumours, taking stationery and long e-mails.
The Daily Mail quoted Ambassador John Edward Mhina as saying that observing the `four pillars of absolute honesty, purity, lack of selfishness, and love' was the `best way to eradicate corruption'.
The following week, pundit James Glassman suggested that a more accurate definition of selfishness might be "the powerful urge that compels bureaucrats to demand more and more of other people's hard-earned money.
Hutterite ideology stresses the shared fate of the group and warns against the sin of selfishness.
In the end, seeing the selfishness of martyrdom, Rodrigues also chooses apostasy.
Finally, the closing essay, which lends its title to the book, is vintage Zinn, full of hope, taking a hard look at his students in the late 1980s - without finding the apathy, conservatism, and selfishness that caused others to label them "the me generation.
Unlike the vast majority of thinkers who have sought to advocate liberty, Herbert thought and wrote in moral terms--in terms of individual rights and moral rights, and in terms of the evil of initiatory force and the necessity of selfishness.
IN DAVID Bell's latest column in praise of selfishness, he argues for an end to Gordon Brown's fuel duty escalator (actually introduced by the Conservatives).
The story tells how the giant's selfishness chases away spring and summer, leaving the garden in winter all year round.
Words of Wisdom discusses such topics as the potential of all living things to become Buddhas, warnings against the three poisons of greed, anger, and sexual misconduct, the Six Guidelines of no fighting, no greed, no seeking, no selfishness, no pursuit of personal advantage, and no lying, and much more.