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Old 05-21-2013, 01:34 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
That's how languages work.
Writing down or saying what you mean *correctly* is a matter of style.

It's idiotic to say "I could care less", assuming that the other knows that "could" actually needs to be "couldn't". These words mean opposite things. Therefore you can't interchange them without looking like a fool who doesn't know the actual meaning of what he is saying. IMHO.

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Old 05-21-2013, 02:16 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Writing down or saying what you mean *correctly* is a matter of style.

It's idiotic to say "I could care less", assuming that the other knows that "could" actually needs to be "couldn't". These words mean opposite things. Therefore you can't interchange them without looking like a fool who doesn't know the actual meaning of what he is saying. IMHO.
I'm not lobbying in favor of "I could care less", but crusading against it is like attempting to command the tide. Whether we like it or not (as I said, I don't use "I could care less") "I could care less" is an idiom that means the same thing as "I couldn't care less". Perhaps it ought to mean the opposite, but it doesn't.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:29 PM   #63
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It only communicates as effectively because most people know what you mean.

"Are you able to pay less taxes?"

- "I could pay less taxes" (if I would fill out the form correctly)
- "I couldn't pay less taxes" (because I already pay none)

It's a big difference. If expressions fall out of use or spelling changes, all fine by me. However, the expressions above are not interchangeable because one is affirmative, the other is not.
Please! fewer taxes or less tax

less taxes just isn't right.
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:48 PM   #64
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I could care less.

But I don't, so I'll go look up the difference, as I've clearly forgotten it.

Edit: Ah. Fewer is for multiple items, and less is for single items. So I'll use less items, and I'll have one fewer thing to worry about. Or something

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Old 05-21-2013, 02:50 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Writing down or saying what you mean *correctly* is a matter of style.

It's idiotic to say "I could care less", assuming that the other knows that "could" actually needs to be "couldn't". These words mean opposite things. Therefore you can't interchange them without looking like a fool who doesn't know the actual meaning of what he is saying. IMHO.
So ... are you going to take a stand on valuable versus invaluable?
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:00 PM   #66
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The point is if I don't agree with you and don't care about what you say but reply to you that I could care less, then it means I do care a little which is not what I mean which defeats the point and renders communication and meaning void.

I might as well say that "I love you and desire you and want to put a bullet in your head"
And there is no way for you to know if I am hitting on you or hating you to the point of killing you or just feeling neutral towards you because I don't use words or verbs or expressions the way they are supposed to. This is not evolution, this is written and spoken language degeneracy.

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It doesn't matter whether or not you "allow" it, there's nothing anyone can do about it. There's no "degeneration" in language, changes taking place today are every bit as much cultural changes as every other change in language. The reason we aren't speaking Indo-European today is because of these kind of "errors". Language has rules, but they are discovered rather than imposed. Dante did not write in a degenerate form of Latin. Changes that fail to communicate information will be abandoned.

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Old 05-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #67
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That's how primitive languages and forms of communication worked. Language and communication have evolved and become complex to allow subtlety and refinement and "dumbing down" the long acquired refinement, complexity and subtlety is not how things are supposed to go, it's definitely not evolution.


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That's how languages work.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:32 PM   #68
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Yet when someone says "I could care less", the are communicating effectively, people understand what is meant. Therefore, it is false that communication and meaning is made void. People do use non-standard English, but they do so, they aren't failing to communicate. Language doesn't change because some committee decrees it, it changes by what people at the time will call errors.

An idiom is a phrase whose meaning cannot be deduced from the component words. "I could care less" is one of those idioms. If you want to stomp this idiom, good luck. Maybe you'll manage to do it.

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Old 05-21-2013, 03:59 PM   #69
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So ... are you going to take a stand on valuable versus invaluable?
Why shouldn't I?

"Invaluable" means "not having a value" in the sense that the value is so great that it cannot be measured. ("Not having a value" is different to "having no value". Don't confuse with "not having any value", which *is* the same as "having no value".)

These two words do not mean different things. They actually mean the same, but in different amounts. "Invaluable" is a superlative of "valuable".

I understand what you are trying to do: to point out that a word can mean something that people may not expect. When you say that "this object is invaluable", then people will know that that it hase value or worth beyond imagination. As far as I know, "invaluable" is never used to describe something without worth. One would use a word such as "worthless".

Therefore:

"I think this object is valuable." -> "I think this object is invaluable."

This substition does not change the meaning of the sentence, which is that the object has at least some value, but it does increase the value of the object. (To an unimaginably high level, that is.)

The same is true for "priceless", which is a synonym for "invaluable".

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Old 05-21-2013, 05:06 PM   #70
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Why shouldn't I?

"Invaluable" means "not having a value" in the sense that the value is so great that it cannot be measured. ("Not having a value" is different to "having no value". Don't confuse with "not having any value", which *is* the same as "having no value".)

These two words do not mean different things. They actually mean the same, but in different amounts. "Invaluable" is a superlative of "valuable".

I understand what you are trying to do: to point out that a word can mean something that people may not expect. When you say that "this object is invaluable", then people will know that that it hase value or worth beyond imagination. As far as I know, "invaluable" is never used to describe something without worth. One would use a word such as "worthless".

Therefore:

"I think this object is valuable." -> "I think this object is invaluable."

This substition does not change the meaning of the sentence, which is that the object has at least some value, but it does increase the value of the object. (To an unimaginably high level, that is.)

The same is true for "priceless", which is a synonym for "invaluable".

Price is synonymous with worth, yet priceless and worthless are antonyms.

The point I was making is that, according to the usual rules of English words, in- is a negative prefix. E.g., inconclusive is the opposite of conclusive, ineligible is the opposite of eligible. But then English has some words that don't follow the pattern, like invaluable and inestimable and inflammable.

It's a quirky, fascinating language, and whether you approve or not, just as in- sometimes doesn't mean what it's "supposed" to mean, I couldn't care less and its apparent opposite, I could care less, mean pretty much the same thing.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:56 PM   #71
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Only by extrapolation. The syntax being almost correct because the difference with the correct expression is just one word away (the word "not"). But the expression is incorrect and if you condone it then you must condone mistakes in all modern branches of knowledge and soon 1+1 will equal 3 because it's not too far from the correct answer and people "understand" what was meant. But even though you can extrapolate from the wrong result, 1+1 will never equal 3 and it is as wrong as it can ever be.
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Yet when someone says "I could care less", the are communicating effectively, people understand what is meant. Therefore, it is false that communication and meaning is made void.
I won't pretend to squash this "idiom" anymore than I would pretend to squash ignorance from the surface of the earth.
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An idiom is a phrase whose meaning cannot be deduced from the component words. "I could care less" is one of those idioms. If you want to stomp this idiom, good luck. Maybe you'll manage to do it.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:58 PM   #72
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Price is synonymous with worth, yet priceless and worthless are antonyms.

The point I was making is that, according to the usual rules of English words, in- is a negative prefix. E.g., inconclusive is the opposite of conclusive, ineligible is the opposite of eligible. But then English has some words that don't follow the pattern, like invaluable and inestimable and inflammable.

It's a quirky, fascinating language, and whether you approve or not, just as in- sometimes doesn't mean what it's "supposed" to mean, I couldn't care less and its apparent opposite, I could care less, mean pretty much the same thing.
I still cannot agree.

Sometimes words don't follow the patterns, fair enough. However, most people know about those words, and they have always had these special meanings.

You can't take out a word out of a sentence ("not", in the case of "I could care less") which basically causes the meaning of the sentence to reverse, and then say: "It still means the same because everybody will know what I mean!". In my view, that's just ridiculous and illogical. It's sloppy use of language.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:41 PM   #73
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Only by extrapolation. The syntax being almost correct because the difference with the correct expression is just one word away (the word "not").But the expression is incorrect and if you condone it then you must condone mistakes in all modern branches of knowledge and soon 1+1 will equal 3 because it's not too far from the correct answer and people "understand" what was meant. But even though you can extrapolate from the wrong result, 1+1 will never equal 3 and it is as wrong as it can ever be.
Language is not mathematics. The analogy doesn't work, if you said "1+1=3", no one would understand what you meant. On the other hand, they would understand if you said "I could care less" and meant it to be synonymous "I couldn't care less."

Again, I don't use "I could care less", I'm just not joining a crusade against it. I don't need to condone anything.

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I won't pretend to squash this "idiom" anymore than I would pretend to squash ignorance from the surface of the earth.
An idiom is "A group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words". Clearly, that's what "I could care less" is. If you said "I could care less" and meant that you were capable of having less concern than you have now, it would only cause people do be confused.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:35 PM   #74
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I still cannot agree.

Sometimes words don't follow the patterns, fair enough. However, most people know about those words, and they have always had these special meanings.
Yeah. And most people know that I could care less and I couldn't care less have the same meaning.

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You can't take out a word out of a sentence ("not", in the case of "I could care less") which basically causes the meaning of the sentence to reverse, and then say: "It still means the same because everybody will know what I mean!". In my view, that's just ridiculous and illogical. It's sloppy use of language.
It's the same thing we do when we say the prefix in- means one thing when it precedes valuable and something else entirely when it precedes conclusive . English is a sloppy language; that's just the reality.

I could care less and I couldn't care less mean the same thing. That's just the way it is.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:40 PM   #75
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Actually, good taste in music got me a wife. Nothing at all to do with grammar.
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