I could care less

Xatufan   Monday, August 23, 2004, 00:46 GMT
English Language is crazy!!!

By the way, I really laughed when you talk about "a pretzel baking contest". Really delicious! Congratulations to Sandra's daughter!
CalifJim   Tuesday, August 24, 2004, 01:15 GMT
Glad I provided some amusement! I'll pass the word along to Sandra and her daughter! :-)
Xatufan   Tuesday, August 24, 2004, 16:46 GMT
R JORDAN   Sunday, August 29, 2004, 10:52 GMT
People might say “I could care less” but what they really should say is “I couldn’t care less”. My guess is that these people say it out of habit and don’t realize what they’re doing. The phrase “I couldn’t care less” implies that there is no more room for indifference.

Saying “I could care less” is like saying that there is still room left for indifference: you “could” be a little more indifferent than you are now. That is not usually the idea that people who use "could care less" want to convey.

But, to avoid confuciousness how about just saying “I don’t care a diddlysquat!” So, there!

P.S. FYI I just made up the word “confuciousness” for lack of better kicks. When you don’t have a boyfriend and you’re up at 3:00 AM checking out an English language forum you get a little freaky. Blah. Nite, Nite!
Damian   Monday, August 30, 2004, 06:59 GMT
<<When you don’t have a boyfriend and you’re up at 3:00 AM checking out an English language forum >>

Now that's what I call real dedication.....does that mean a bf will alter all that? :-)
Al Maw   Tuesday, September 07, 2004, 17:50 GMT
Irony doesn't come across well in written English. Nearly always, "I could care less" reads as a straight statement of fact. In which case, it certainly does *not* mean the same as "I couldn't care less".

The thing that makes this grate as much as it does to a vaguely educated person is that people use the phrase interchangably with "I couldn't care less". Now, "I couldn't care less" is in itself a convoluted double-negative. You could simply say, "I don't care". It's this replacement of an already overloaded form that looks so wrong: Using an incorrect form that removes this double-negative doesn't look ironic - it just looks stupid.
Mi5 Mick   Wednesday, September 08, 2004, 07:34 GMT
Frankly my dear, I could care more but I don't give a damn to not care less.
Damian   Wednesday, September 08, 2004, 07:45 GMT
I meant to study apathy but I just couldn't be bothered.....yawn....
Margaret   Wednesday, September 08, 2004, 11:54 GMT
'I could care less' is a purely American usage. The English still use couldn't. I'm interested to see that this is described as irony as the English prejudice is that Americans don't have any. 'I could care less' seems to carry with it the unspoken phrase of all American 'irony': 'Like... duh-uh.'

When you think about it, the English progress is from 'I don't care' to 'I couldn't care less' as quite an icy and pointed put-down, till its current use as a common-or-garden idiom of casual dismissal.