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If this makes no sense don't re-read it; it wasn't you, it was me. ;)
Less frequently, it means "well that will work, but it is not how I, in all my maginficence, would do it." :-)
"Fine" by itself depends on how it's stated, but I've never found it to be good, unless you've cornered someone into not taking advantage of you and they don't have a better answer. Most of the time it means "fine, have it your way, you stupid rotten jack-a**." Others it's just "fine, I have no more patience for you."
My pet peeve is "whatever." I think we all know this one, particularly if you have teenage kids in the house. A great way to break it:
"You're old enough. If you want money, get a job."
"Okay, FINE, you lose your Internet privileges now too. See how that works? I pay for stuff you use for free, give me your 'whatever' and you begin to lose that privilege too."
But I think it means the opposite when someone replies with 'I'm fine' when you ask them how they are.
I'm been told it stands for (and I apologise...I hate things like this, but has to be said!) Feeling inadequate needing encouragement.
When someone replies with 'I'm fine' it tells me something's up...probably more so than if someone breaks down and cries!
The only way to assess the 'irony' level in a post is to read the comment in context.
"If you follow Google's guidelines, that's fine" from an honest webbie, probably means they are encouraging you to follow the guidelines. From a spammer, it probably means 'don't make me laugh"
"If you don't mind being dropped from the index, keep using white text on a white page, that's just fine" is probably sarcasm.
Context is all!
If someone asks me if something is permissible, I may say "that's fine".
In this case, I mean "that's fine". If someone takes this as having some hidden meaning, that's fine, too.
In any case, the term "whatever" is an insult, and entirely warrants a stern "as if...".
Depends on how its said.
(Another one that depends on how it's said: "nice". Usually a dig, but sometimes actually means "nice". The longer it's drawn-out, the more likely it is the actually mean "nice". Put "oh" in front of it, and it's almost never "nice".)