I could care less...

I came across someone using this statement a while ago, and i assumed that it was a typo, thinking the owner of the sentence meant to say 'couldn't'. As the months went by and the sunlight stuck around for longer in the day, i came across many people writing the same, whether it was 'I could care less about this game', or 'I could care less about your view' etc. It was as if a grammar plague had struck the internet, and all the 'could care less' people came out to play.

My point is that it was still being used, and more noticeably in recent years. Now i consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, maybe not freudian intelligent but above average, yet i have no idea what the point is in the statement 'I could care less'. It seems like a statement that doesn't need to be said, kind of similiar to how people don't proclaim everyday emotions, because you don't need to tell people what you don't feel, and concentrate on what you do feel. I don't go around telling people I am not a fan of dance music, when they don't ask, so do we really need to hear about someone having the scope to be less interested in a game?

The statement 'I couldn't care less' seems reasonable, as you're telling people that you care so very little about a game that it's just not possible for you to care any less. Yet, the statement 'I could care less' is telling me that there is some level of interest in the game as you could care less about the game, so there is a registered interest. My biggest gripe is that people seem to be using the sentence with a negative tone,  for example "I'll be honest, I could care less about this game, never wanted to play it before the review and never will regardless of the review." - Comments section; Transformers review; IGN. To me this person is saying that there is room for them to care less, yet the rest of their comment says something else.

Now we come back around, and i have to ask, is it me? I am just not getting this statement that people are using? Or, Are people confused? Seeing as the internet is so large and anyone can use it, does that mean these people who 'couldt care less' are using the statement wrong, and mean they couldn't? Or again, am i missing the point entirely?

20 Comments
21 Comments
Posted by BR4DL3I9H

I came across someone using this statement a while ago, and i assumed that it was a typo, thinking the owner of the sentence meant to say 'couldn't'. As the months went by and the sunlight stuck around for longer in the day, i came across many people writing the same, whether it was 'I could care less about this game', or 'I could care less about your view' etc. It was as if a grammar plague had struck the internet, and all the 'could care less' people came out to play.

My point is that it was still being used, and more noticeably in recent years. Now i consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, maybe not freudian intelligent but above average, yet i have no idea what the point is in the statement 'I could care less'. It seems like a statement that doesn't need to be said, kind of similiar to how people don't proclaim everyday emotions, because you don't need to tell people what you don't feel, and concentrate on what you do feel. I don't go around telling people I am not a fan of dance music, when they don't ask, so do we really need to hear about someone having the scope to be less interested in a game?

The statement 'I couldn't care less' seems reasonable, as you're telling people that you care so very little about a game that it's just not possible for you to care any less. Yet, the statement 'I could care less' is telling me that there is some level of interest in the game as you could care less about the game, so there is a registered interest. My biggest gripe is that people seem to be using the sentence with a negative tone,  for example "I'll be honest, I could care less about this game, never wanted to play it before the review and never will regardless of the review." - Comments section; Transformers review; IGN. To me this person is saying that there is room for them to care less, yet the rest of their comment says something else.

Now we come back around, and i have to ask, is it me? I am just not getting this statement that people are using? Or, Are people confused? Seeing as the internet is so large and anyone can use it, does that mean these people who 'couldt care less' are using the statement wrong, and mean they couldn't? Or again, am i missing the point entirely?

Posted by Black_Rose

Yeah, this confuses me as well, specially since english is not my mother language. I've always thought that "couldn't care less" is the right way to say it.

Posted by Jimbo

They have been used interchangeably since the dawn of time.  Strictly speaking, you're right, it does not make sense - just think of it as an abbreviation if it will make you feel better.

Posted by Ineedaname

Indeed, the "could" implies they could care less but aren't going to because maybe they have a difference of opinion, if they then went on to state what that was it'd be acceptable.
I.e. " I could care less however I think some parts of this game might be original", that works but "I couldn't care less" is what it says on the tin.

I'm not a grammar nazi by any means, but still, I'd prefer people to type with some decency.
I also hate people who use things like u for you =/ ah well.

Posted by Expletive

its just one of those stupid american sayings that doesn't make sense but people know that you you mean, so everyone says it anyways

Posted by Jayge_

Tons of people say "could care less" about shit all the time and it annoys the crap out of me. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Posted by SoulEdgeSlayer

I really don't care if other people do it, but any kind of grammar mistake (at least an extremely obvious mistake) that I make ticks me off. I personally use "I couldn't care less".

That is why I proof read every post that I type.

Posted by Rhaknar

i agree with you, i always thought (and still do) its "couldnt", as in, i couldnt care less about what youre saying, what you are saying has no interest at all to me...but sam and max episode...err... one of the season 1 episodes has a joke about this which i thought was quite good :P small spoilers i guess

someone tells sam "i could care less" and sam corrects her and goes "its actually couldnt care less", and she goes, "no, its could care less, because i care even less about what you just said", and max goes "oooh burn!". made me smile :P


Edited by Jimbo

You always understand what they mean though don't you?  It's just an idiom that already has sarcasm built right into it (which is the best kind of idiom if you ask me).

edit: lol at Sam and Max ^^

Posted by Log

it basically means that  you could care less but its of such little importance to you that you wont make the effort.

Posted by Subject2Change

http://incompetech.com/gallimaufry/care_less.html

Posted by Jayge_
@Jimbo said:
" You always understand what they mean though don't you?  It's just an idiom that already has sarcasm built right into it (which is the best kind of idiom if you ask me).edit: lol at Sam and Max ^^ "
It's the same thing as when people say "do you mind if I do this" and they say "yeah sure" in response. It's not a sarcasm thing, it's just that people don't realize what they're saying.
Posted by MattyFTM

Correctly it's couldn't. Some people are just weird.

Moderator
Posted by Toope

I only clicked on this post because of how much I hate the phrase "I could care less." I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The correct form is indeed "I couldn't care less."

Posted by pirate_republic

Wow I only just realized that... good post. Now that you pointed it out I'm seeing that everywhere. Damn.

Posted by Subject2Change

Both forms are usable. Context the statement of "I couldn careless" is often misused because the person doesn't give a shit at all in the first place but they are already on the bottom of chain of "caring".























Posted by RandomInternetUser
@BR4DL3I9H:  It''s not you, it's people who do not know how to use grammar.
Edited by Jimbo
@Jayge: Not really, I'm fully aware of the grammar implications and am happy to use either because it is commonly accepted that they both mean 'I do not care'.

People aren't simple, it's just a quirk of how the language has developed.  You guys are about 20 years too late to be fighting this crusade.
Posted by BR4DL3I9H

I am glad to see that it isn't just me. In noticing it i am not trying to fight the good fight in making people stop saying the statement and yes, i am aware that people have been using the statement for years, but it still doesn't explain why more and more people have starting using it in recent years. Has there been a recent explosion of the statement in pop culture over last few years that i missed?

@Jimbo: It isn't that i don't accept both statements, or that i refuse to acknowledge them, but I want people to realise that they are DIFFERENT, and mean two different things, where as one means that you couldn't possibly care any less, the other means that there is room for you to care less. My angst comes from people using the two as if they were interchangable, which they are not. Taking it to an extreme, you couldn't use the words dying and dead as replacements to mean the same thing. You couldn't say 'I am dying' or 'I am dead' to mean the same thing, and the word dying has similarities to could care less, in that dying suggests you are on the way out, but there is room for you to move closer to the door, whereas dead means you are on the other side of the door, waving frantically as you are being reluctantly dragged away by death. Too mobid? Maybe.

However, i am not a grammar nazi. I have never gone out of my way to point out if someone is using words incorrectly, or has generally poor grammar. We all have off days, and even the most literate people in the world make mistakes. It's just something i have noticed more and more, and was interested in why this statement has exploded in the last few years.

Posted by Wolverine
@BR4DL3I9H: You think way to much.
Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

I usually say "I couldn't care less."