WNW: A Rant: Could NOT Care Less

Hearing (or reading) I could care less is one of my eye-twitching peeves, because it states the exact opposite of what the person means.

I could care less means that the speaker/writer could conceivably care less than they do at this moment.

So . . . they DO care. At least a little. Because they COULD care less.

So it's possible for them to care less than they do right now.

Yeah, not even ALMOST what they mean.

Try again:

What they mean is that they care so little that there is no way for them to care any less than they already do. There is no caring here. At all. None. Zip.

Ergo, they could NOT or couldn't care less.

John Cleese says it better. He's also fun to watch while ranting about it:



Comments

Lara said…
Amen! Huge pet peeve over here.

Love the video, thanks for the laugh!
Kristina P. said…
I was getting it wrong for my entire life, until about a year ago, when I read something and it stuck with me.

So when I hear people say "I could care less.", I now judge.
Sue said…
That's always annoyed me, too.

=)
CountessLaurie said…
I think I say I couldn't care less, but now I am not so sure.
After all, I still spell it dilemna. Always will.

By the way, John Cleese is hysterical.
Heidi said…
Yep, I hate that one too. I could never figure out how people could get it wrong. And I hate it when people write "congradulations". Ergh!
Cheri Chesley said…
Love Mr Cleese! And,thank you. I have been second guessing how this phrase sounds so long I stopped using it.
DeNae said…
He is the wisest Minister of Silly Walks the world has ever known. And I completely agree with him, and you, and everyone else.

In fact, I enjoy saying the proper phrase so much, I say it, "I could NOT care less!" putting the "not" in great big caps you can actually hear!
Kimberly said…
So brilliant! And such a huge pet peeve of mine that I grinned throughout. Brava!
LisAway said…
I could care less about what you have to say on this subject. (really!)

As kids we couldn't stand people saying it wrong. Now I actually couldn't care less if people say it wrong. HA! (actually it's still a little annoying, but I can handle it. :)
Scott said…
This post got me thinking of a another pet peeve. When people say: "Stay/remain calm." Most of the time it's applied to people in a hysterical state. For someone to 'stay' or 'remain' in a certain state they would have to BE in that state (ie: you can only say it before hysterics set in), so you (and when I say 'you' I mean people in general)tell a person in hysterics "stay/remain calm" they can't! They LEFT calm before you said anything. People need to say "clam down." Blunt, but much more accurate...Now I'M ranting. Good post. It's funny because it's true!
Scott said…
This post got me thinking of a another pet peeve. When people say: "Stay/remain calm." Most of the time it's applied to people in a hysterical state. For someone to 'stay' or 'remain' in a certain state they would have to BE in that state (ie: you can only say it before hysterics set in), so you (and when I say 'you' I mean people in general)tell a person in hysterics "stay/remain calm" they can't! They LEFT calm before you said anything. People need to say "clam down." Blunt, but much more accurate...Now I'M ranting. Good post. It's funny because it's true!
I so love you! This is probably my worst pet peeve ever. EVER. Wonderful post!
wendy said…
Holy freaking smokes.....I had not ever even thought about it.
I guess we say lots of things that don't make sense.

Me and my hubby always argue about the word UNTHAW
I'll say....I am going to take the meat out of the freezer to unthaw
He says ....no, you take it out to thaw, you can't unthaw.

sheeesh, I am an english idiot
Jewel Allen said…
Ha ha. I love John Cleese!

Your post makes complete sense. I am always saying Americanisms that I get the phrase wrong; this might be one of them. :-)
T said…
this is one of the top ten peeves of mine... (I've been making a list).
Krista said…
This drives me as crazy as "irregardless" and "Where should we meet you AT?" Great post, Annette!
See Mom Smile said…
I could care less about John Cleese! Love him.
Karlene said…
AMEN.
Jessica G. said…
One of my pet peeves AND John Cleese? I love you.
Amber Lynae said…
This is also a pet peeve of mine.
I have seen this wrong in books, and it drives me up the wall.

However, I am certain I have typed it wrong before, because I have a habit of leaving the negative out when I type. I often say the opposite of what I mean to because I don't pay enough attention.
Jordan said…
Did you see they cited the Deseret "Morning" News in the article as one of the perpetrators?

I knew it was coming when I read a Des News article contrasting two things that were "de facto" and "de jour."

It still hurts.

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