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Could [not] care less - Ed's journal
Could [not] care less
OK, listen up.
I've seen a few too many places recently, using the phrase 'I could care less'.
It irritates me, especially in books where they should know better. (Empyryan age, I'm looking at you).

Here's the thing.

'I could care less' doesn't even remotely mean 'I could not care less'. There is a 'not' in there, which logically inverts the meaning.

I could care less, implies that you care some - not necessarily a lot, but some and therefore there's a possiblity of reducing how much you care. So you don't get to call it sarcasm, either. It would be sarcastic to say something like "I really care". The implicit apathy in 'I could care less' doesn't count.

Here's a lovely illustration (from: http://incompetech.com/gallimaufry/care_less.html)

So will you kindly get it right?
8 comments or Leave a comment
queex From: queex Date: November 13th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's an Americanism. Some American English speakers get very, very annoyed if you correct them on this.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: November 13th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Some Americanisms are merely irritating. In this case, however, calling it an Americanism doesn't excuse the fact that it's just plain wrong. Fails to convey appropriate meaning, and fails to be sarcastic at the same time.
xarrion From: xarrion Date: November 13th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
So what you're saying is that it's an abuse of language that you could care less about... ;)

Edited at 2008-11-13 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: linamishima Date: November 13th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thankfully, I do recall that I have heard it used properly once... I just can't remember where...
mister_jack From: mister_jack Date: November 13th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's classic reverse meaning. Get over it.
_gh0st_ From: _gh0st_ Date: November 13th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree with you on this! It irritates me each time I hear it! >_
phyrbyrd From: phyrbyrd Date: November 13th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, thankyou. This has been irritating me for ages too. Just because it's an Americanism doesn't make it right.
crashbarrier From: crashbarrier Date: November 14th, 2008 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I could care less

I think I am one of the few who havn't stumbled on this little saying yet. or if I have then I have mind edited it (i do that sometimes).

What an airy fairy way and completley lipwristed statement. It is so variable it doesn't even have the definative statement of you NOT caring at all about a subject, it just means that perhaps maybe you might not like the subject, but you don't want to quantify it.

I hate it.. please expunge this from our vocabulary
8 comments or Leave a comment