I could care less about this headline

I could care less about this headline
Source: Reusableart.com

I could care less — but I don’t.

The correct, once common, expression is “I couldn’t care less.” In other words, I don’t care at all. Whatever the matter is, it means nothing to me.

The trouble is that more and more people are saying “I could care less” with a dismissive tone. They’re implying, vocally, the very opposite of what they’re saying.

Thus my headline — I could care less about it, but I don’t, so I did that carefully.

There are plentiful reasons to use “I couldn’t care less” when speaking about things one doesn’t like or consider important.

I couldn’t care less about Donald Trump.

I couldn’t care less about golf and tennis.

I couldn’t care less about rap music. (I consider it an oxymoron.)

But thinking of things about which I could care less feels like admitting to over-enthusiasm.

I could care less about chocolate.

I could care less about hockey. (Don’t worry, Hawks, I won’t!)

I could care less about words and languages, of course — because I care about them so much. But I won’t! I’ll go on caring.

For more fun with words, stop by the Margaret Serious page on Facebook.

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Comments

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  • Maybe the correct form is "I couldn't care."

    Of course, there are other forms in common parlance that can't be typed here. Or is it may not be typed here? Or shouldn't be typed here.

  • In reply to jack:

    Or you could say what Rhett did when he left Scarlett.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I was thinking something more similar to your Louis III post.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Cleverly put!

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes, "I couldn't care less" is correct -- but it looks good without the "less" as well.
    I won't say other things can't be typed here, not if you have a working keyboard and working fingers. May not be typed? I hesitate to impose that. Shouldn't be typed? Ah, now we agree.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    I went into that direction because it comes up all the time in legal writing.

    I was in a bagel place a couple of weeks ago, when after taking a family's order, the clerk said "why do the kids ask 'can I have a cinnamon bagel?'; they sure can" to which I replied "they don't know the difference between 'can' and 'may.'" She then said "they also say 'can I go to the bathroom?'" to which I said "the answer is no, because the door is locked."

    I'm also convinced that if the rule is that "shall" means "must,"* the opposite is "may not," not "must not." Apparently nobody agrees.

    Finally, I can't figure out why "kids" has become common parlance. I was taught that "a kid is a goat."
    __________
    *As in the case of mandamus, discussed in the AW Boehner post.

  • Thank you for that, Margaret! People make that mistake all the time and it drives me nuts!!!

  • In reply to Leslie Kahn:

    You're welcome -- in reply to your thanks, but also in the sense of welcome to the conversation!

  • I could care less about chocolate also but I don't want to!
    Great post!

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    I probably should care more about hot chocolate. I thought I could stomach coffee, but it is messing me up again.

  • In reply to jack:

    Aha! I like getting "should care more" into these comparisons. Thanks, and I hope that hot chocolate helps you feel better.

  • In reply to Kathy Mathews:

    Thank you! I'm glad we agree about chocolate.

  • This is great.

  • In reply to Kim Z Dale:

    Thank you, and welcome to the conversation.

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