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Old 01-11-2011, 04:21 AM   #1
TGS
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Could care less?

There is a phrase in English, "I couldn't care less", which means, roughly, I care so little about this that I cannot imagine caring any less about it - "I couldn't care less about the fate of Manchester United" means I do not care at all about the fate of Manchester United.

Of late I have noticed the phrase, "I could care less" Now. on the face of it "I could care less" means the opposite of "I couldn't care less". The least it means is that my level of caring about this issue could be less than it is, in other words, I care...to some extent. "I could care less about the fate of Manchester United", seems to mean that I care to some extent about the fate of Manchester United.

What is confusing is, it seems from the context in which it appears, that "I could care less" is used to mean what "I couldn't care less" means - in other words, "I don't care".

Does anybody know how this has arisen and how it is that, without irony, a phrase can come to be used to mean the opposite of what it does mean?
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:31 AM   #2
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I think somebody has posted this before, but;

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Old 01-11-2011, 04:53 AM   #3
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I think somebody has posted this before, but;

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Old 01-11-2011, 05:55 AM   #4
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I'd say it's caused by laziness! "I could not care less" is longer than "I could care less".


(oh, and to put one more down, why is driving on the right side of the road, wrong?)
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:25 AM   #5
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it's from the same people that cannot wrap their wee little brains around the fact that irregardless isn't a word
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:43 AM   #6
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it's from the same people that cannot wrap their wee little brains around the fact that irregardless isn't a word
ahhhhh - I hate that one.

I'll say "I could care less" sometimes, but when I do I'll put a sarcastic tone to it, indicating I really couldn't, or I'll finish it off by saying ", but not much."
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:08 AM   #7
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My mother use to complain about us using street talk and slang. She considered any bad grammar that was socially acceptable in daily conversation as street talk. She especially hated the word 'ain't."

My favorite is when I ask someone if they mind and they say yes meaning go ahead. They just said yes they minded. I have to ask them "yes you mind, or yes go ahead?"
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
I'd say it's caused by laziness! "I could not care less" is longer than "I could care less".
To lose one word may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness.

Graham

Last edited by Graham; 01-11-2011 at 10:26 AM. Reason: revisionism for comic effect.
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:09 AM   #9
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The one that really annoys me is the use of the phrase "my bad" to mean "I have made a mistake". "bad" is an adjective - I always want to ask the speaker "my bad WHAT?". It makes no sense at all. Where on Earth did that one come from, I wonder?
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:26 AM   #10
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'I could care less' was in a sample of a book I recently had a look at... and it confused me, as in I didn't know what it was supposed to mean... I didn't buy the book...
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:57 AM   #11
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I don't mind the easy to confuse phrases being misused. I'm not perfect myself. The thing that really bothers me is when people spell words phonetically without bothering to ever check if the word is wrong or not. Worse still is if they do it on purpose.

I'll give some real examples from a 22 year old woman I know. This is the way she uses words.
2 = to, too
n = and
i b = I'll be
sum = some
tuff = tough
wiff = with
gud = good
every1 = everyone
If she was writing me a quick text message on her phone, I wouldn't mind so much. But she'll type an entire email to me this way. That is just plain laziness.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:16 AM   #12
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I don't mind the easy to confuse phrases being misused. I'm not perfect myself. The thing that really bothers me is when people spell words phonetically without bothering to ever check if the word is wrong or not. Worse still is if they do it on purpose.

I'll give some real examples from a 22 year old woman I know. This is the way she uses words.
2 = to, too
n = and
i b = I'll be
sum = some
tuff = tough
wiff = with
gud = good
every1 = everyone
If she was writing me a quick text message on her phone, I wouldn't mind so much. But she'll type an entire email to me this way. That is just plain laziness.
I don't do much of texting or reading them... I just don't understand them... If I'm texting, I write the whole thing out....
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:27 AM   #13
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I don't do much of texting or reading them... I just don't understand them... If I'm texting, I write the whole thing out....
So do I, always have! And I write long ones sometimes.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:28 AM   #14
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I find it really difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying when they are chewing gum, and every second word is "like".

Invariably, this is done by the young and the restless.

Cheers
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:23 AM   #15
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The one that really annoys me is the use of the phrase "my bad" to mean "I have made a mistake". "bad" is an adjective - I always want to ask the speaker "my bad WHAT?". It makes no sense at all. Where on Earth did that one come from, I wonder?
Oh - I do that.

I promise if I ever get into a discussion with you I'll try very hard never to use that expression.

Regards
Caleb
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