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McGill
04-25-2006, 08:11 PM
Can someone help me with this. When you want to say that you don't care about the opinion of another, which of the following is the correct way to do it?

She could care less what he thought.
or
She couldn't care less what he thought.

Thanks !

CaroGirl
04-25-2006, 08:12 PM
Can someone help me with this. When you want to say that you don't care about the opinion of another, which of the following is the correct way to do it?

She could care less what he thought.
or
She couldn't care less what he thought.

Thanks !
Please, please, please...it's COULDN'T care less. If you want to be right, that is. She could care less means exactly the opposite.

Cat Scratch
04-25-2006, 11:31 PM
Double-negative is the key.

I couldn't care less = I already care as little as I possibly can.

I could care less = I care at least a bit, because it is possible to care less than I already do.

The first is correct. Second is fingernails on a chalkboard.

McGill
04-26-2006, 12:44 AM
Thanks guys, that's what I thought, but it's just you hear the other one so much, I wasn't sure. Thanks again!

Carmy
04-26-2006, 07:42 AM
Thanks for bringing this up. I see "could care less" all over the place and it drives be nuts!

Carmy

aruna
04-26-2006, 09:29 AM
Thanks for bringing this up. I see "could care less" all over the place and it drives be nuts!

Carmy

Could care less! AAaaaarg!

This is possibly my absolute number one grammar pet peeve. Curiously, only Americans use it, I've never heard it used by the English, Scottish, Australiansm Guyanese etc. It is an absolute abomination. Even the rythm is wrong.

Doctor Shifty
04-26-2006, 04:46 PM
I only see "could care less" in US usage. Here in Oz "couldn't" is the norm. And I can't recall it as being in US publications, just in web forums etc. I suspect it's conversational more than literary.

Oz has it's own ways of dumbing down the language with such things as "enormity" now meaning big.


Kim

Maryn
04-26-2006, 05:12 PM
Be aware, too, that who's saying this phrase figures in to whether you make it technically correct. In my experience (this is US speakers), in general only the educated and/or thoughtful say they couldn't care less. The mistake that literally means the opposite has taken on an identical idiomatic meaning, even when it's said without a trace of sarcasm.

So if the person who's getting this phrase in dialogue, or your narrator, is not an educated person or one who's careful with language, they'd probably get it wrong and say they could care less.

Maryn, expert at muddying waters

Carmy
04-27-2006, 08:57 AM
"Could care less" is creeping into Canada, too. Ugh!

Carmy

reph
04-27-2006, 10:52 AM
"Could care less" is creeping into Canada, too. Ugh!You guys had better build a wall, then.

Jo
04-27-2006, 12:46 PM
Some Australians (mainly teens) are beginning to skew the phrase to "could care less", perhaps after hearing it on American tv shows aired in Australia; e.g. Lost and House. Even "educated" characters, including an Aussie doctor (Dr Robert Chase, House -- played by Jesse Spencer), use it. Argh!

aruna
04-27-2006, 12:59 PM
I hate this so much that if I DID have an American character using it in a novel I'd make sure there was an appropriate Reph to immediatelely correct him.

Maryn
04-28-2006, 07:03 PM
Oh, what an intriguing thought, Aruna! Who's playing reph?

Maryn, eager to hear your casting thoughts

Jamesaritchie
04-28-2006, 07:59 PM
Even in America, "couldn't care less" is correct. I would not say only the educated use it, I'd say only the illiterate do not.

writeorwrong
04-28-2006, 08:25 PM
I could never understand how so many get this one wrong. When you think of the actual meaning of the words, the phrase "could care less" means the opposite of what it's intended to convey.

KAP
04-28-2006, 08:37 PM
I never understood "could care less," either. It's used so often. I wonder if it's shortened from "I could care less, but I don't know how" or something like that. Who knows? I'd look up the origin, but I really...don't care all that much.

rekirts
04-28-2006, 08:38 PM
"Could care less" is creeping into Canada, too. Ugh!

CarmyCreeping in? I'd say it's got a darn good foothold and it drives me nucking futs!

CaroGirl
04-28-2006, 08:45 PM
Just plug your ears and hum loudly. That's what I do.

Sireen
04-28-2006, 10:09 PM
If that wasn't bad enough. What about irregardless. It makes my skin crawl!

CaroGirl
04-28-2006, 10:11 PM
If that wasn't bad enough. What about irregardless. It makes my skin crawl!
Ack! What did you have to go and write that for?! You need to put a warning label on a post like that.

(can you tell I feel the same way about that word you mentioned that I refuse to say, let alone type)

Doctor Shifty
04-30-2006, 12:32 PM
OK, I've decided!! Try to talk me out of it if you want to, but I'm going to do it anyway. :)

I'm on a forum based around the almost classic motorbike I ride, and most of the members are in the US. Many of them have an opinion on everything and that is where I am most likely to see "could care less".

So, I'll just ask them what they really think.

Kim

reph
04-30-2006, 07:56 PM
I'm on a forum based around the almost classic motorbike I ride, and most of the members are in the US....So, I'll just ask them what they really think.Be sure to come back here afterward and ask us writers and editors about tuneups and helmet laws.

aruna
04-30-2006, 08:02 PM
Be sure to come back here afterward and ask us writers and editors about tuneups and helmet laws.

I was just going to start jumping up and down yelling "Reph made a typo!" but just to be certain I looked "afterwards" up in the dictionary. To my chagrin, it said (US: afterward). What a disappointment.

Bufty
04-30-2006, 08:14 PM
'I could care less' fits sarcasm but used elsewhere it drives me bananas.

reph
04-30-2006, 08:21 PM
I was just going to start jumping up and down yelling "Reph made a typo!"...So my typo-free performance would justify celebratory gloating if I were to make one? Is that fair?

aruna
04-30-2006, 08:30 PM
So my typo-free performance would justify celebratory gloating if I were to make one? Is that fair?

I just want to experience you as fallible, just once, Reph, otherwise I'll have to worship you as God....

Bufty
04-30-2006, 08:32 PM
My Oxford Tenth doesn't have a 'tuneup'. :cry:


Be sure to come back here afterward and ask us writers and editors about tuneups and helmet laws.


So my typo-free performance would justify celebratory gloating if I were to make one? Is that fair?

reph
04-30-2006, 09:22 PM
My Oxford Tenth doesn't have a 'tuneup'.My American Heritage First has one, but it gives the word a hyphen. aruna, you can get up off your knees now.

aruna
04-30-2006, 10:08 PM
Thank goodness. That was beginning to hurt.

Angela
05-01-2006, 07:42 AM
Well, actually, if I say I couldn't care less, I mean that I really couldn't. However, if I DO say I could care less, I actually MEAN that. When I say that, it means that I don't care a whole lot, but I certainly COULD care far less. It just depends on how the person actually means it when they say it. Just a thought.

Carmy
05-01-2006, 07:45 AM
I hope you survive Doctor Shifty. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when you do that.

Carmy

aruna
05-01-2006, 02:37 PM
Well, actually, if I say I couldn't care less, I mean that I really couldn't. However, if I DO say I could care less, I actually MEAN that. When I say that, it means that I don't care a whole lot, but I certainly COULD care far less. It just depends on how the person actually means it when they say it. Just a thought.

However, I doubt is other, less literate people make this distinction. They mean the one and say the other. It's a trashing of the language.

Jamesaritchie
05-01-2006, 05:38 PM
Well, actually, if I say I couldn't care less, I mean that I really couldn't. However, if I DO say I could care less, I actually MEAN that. When I say that, it means that I don't care a whole lot, but I certainly COULD care far less. It just depends on how the person actually means it when they say it. Just a thought.



I don't think it really works this way. Never in my life have I heard anyone use "I could care less" appropriately. And even if you do mean you could care less, it isn't going to come across this way.

Tracy
05-03-2006, 12:29 AM
and by God but I'd better not make any mistakes in this post, but Reph said, 'Come back and ask us writers about tuneups'.

Er ...

It should be 'Come back and ask we writers about ...'

But I appreciate that that sounds so pretentious.

Sometimes I find that an issue - the wrong usage is so acceptable that the correct one does sound pretentious and arty-farty and up your own *&@%%. For example, I think that the incorrect 'Between you and I' probably sounds better than the correct 'between you and me,' simply because we've heard the former so much.

What's a gal to do???

CaroGirl
05-03-2006, 12:35 AM
Reph said, 'Come back and ask us writers about tuneups'.
Yup, she did.


It should be 'Come back and ask we writers about ...'
Nope, it shouldn't. reph's right. You say, "Come back and ask us..." not "Come back and ask we..." don't you?

reph
05-03-2006, 02:08 AM
Tracy, the objective case, "us," is correct in that sentence because "us writers" is the direct object of a verb.

"Between you and I" sounds wrong to me. "Between you and me" sounds right. Objective case all the way, this time because the pronouns are objects of a preposition.

aruna
05-03-2006, 09:47 AM
Tracy, the objective case, "us," is correct in that sentence because "us writers" is the direct object of a verb.

"Between you and I" sounds wrong to me. "Between you and me" sounds right. Objective case all the way, this time because the pronouns are objects of a preposition.

:Hail:
(The first time I ever used that smilie BTW!)
I often see "I" used instead of "me", even in published books. in the old days it was the reverse, and perhaps people had it drummed into them theat' it's "you and I" and not "you and me" so much that they use it even when it's wrong.
One book that had "You and I" all the way through as a direct object of the verb was "A Child Called It". I found it most aggravating.

Doctor Shifty
05-05-2006, 12:15 PM
Originally Posted by Doctor Shifty
I'm on a forum based around the almost classic motorbike I ride, and most of the members are in the US....So, I'll just ask them what they really think.


Be sure to come back here afterward and ask us writers and editors about tuneups and helmet laws.

OK, it's done. Here's the link to the thread. Happy surfing out there in motorcycle land. :)

http://www.thegsresources.com/_forum/showthread.php?t=90993

Kim

PS. BTW, what do you know about tuneups and helmet laws?

unthoughtknown
05-05-2006, 12:18 PM
'I could care less' fits sarcasm but used elsewhere it drives me bananas.

It really must be a sarcastic Americanism because I never hear "I could care less" in Aussieland. Weird.

BardSkye
05-06-2006, 09:02 PM
The one that drives me absolutely crazy is "wellness" which is now everywhere I look. I think I even heard that our government here in Canada (such as it is) has changed "Ministry of Health" to "Ministry of Health and Wellness."

Urghh!

aruna
05-06-2006, 09:12 PM
Just out of curiosity I looked up "could care less" on google, and I found quite a few (American) grammar websites that say both could and couldn't are correct; could is correct because it has gone into general usage os some such bull!!!
By that reasoning, "ain't" , "gona", "u" for "you" etc are all correct.
Ugh.

Bufty
05-07-2006, 12:31 AM
In Oz? Probably not. Be grateful. It's a US of A way of saying one 'couldn't care less'. It doesn't imply sarcasm.

It really must be a sarcastic Americanism because I never hear "I could care less" in Aussieland. Weird.

Jo
05-07-2006, 08:03 AM
From what I gather, when the user knows both phrases, "could care less" is meant to be an irony of the original sarcastic idiom, "couldn't care less"... :Wha:



Just out of curiosity I looked up "could care less" on google, and I found quite a few (American) grammar websites that say both could and couldn't are correct; could is correct because it has gone into general usage os some such bull!!!
By that reasoning, "ain't" , "gona", "u" for "you" etc are all correct.
Ugh.


Thx 4 that! :tongue

Apparently, "couldn't care less" originated in Britain around 1940, and "could care less" in the US around 1960. Re: http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxcouldc.html (or http://www.yaelf.com/aueFAQ/mifcouldcareless.shtml)

As per the above article, the usage of "could care less" may have originated when the negative element was separated from "could":

"None of these writers could care less."


It really must be a sarcastic Americanism because I never hear "I could care less" in Aussieland. Weird.

You're lucky, Jen! I've heard it used here in the Queensland part of Aussieland--thus my #11 post in this thread. The Aussie kids use it instead of "couldn't care less".

fallenangelwriter
05-09-2006, 10:30 PM
Isn't this the wrong question?


neither, as far as I cna tell, is appropriate to narration, and if it's dialogue, than either one mgiht be used, depending on the character, right?

aruna
05-10-2006, 02:28 PM
Isn't this the wrong question?


neither, as far as I cna tell, is appropriate to narration, and if it's dialogue, than either one mgiht be used, depending on the character, right?

Why wouldn't I use "couldn't care less" in narrative? I certainly would, especially in 1st person POV.
And as I said before, if any character of mine used "could care less" then I'd sure as hell have another character correct him/her. Except for the puprose of correcting it, I don't see any need to ever make a character say "could care less". It's not a part of any particular accent, as far as I can tell, and is just a misuse of language that is slowly but surely trying to take over. I'm surprised it's been around since the 60's, since I never heard of it until two or three years ago.

CaroGirl
05-10-2006, 04:47 PM
Isn't this the wrong question?


neither, as far as I cna tell, is appropriate to narration, and if it's dialogue, than either one mgiht be used, depending on the character, right?
Third person narration often uses colloquialisms like couldn't care less. For example:

"Ivan couldn't care less if the woman at the bar saw his face."

"The children's playing got ever more raucous. They couldn't care less if they woke the old man."

As far as I'm concerned, you should make sure your narration is correct, at least, or readers who know proper usage will take you to task on it.

SeanDSchaffer
05-12-2006, 05:28 AM
Can someone help me with this. When you want to say that you don't care about the opinion of another, which of the following is the correct way to do it?

She could care less what he thought.
or
She couldn't care less what he thought.

Thanks !


In my own personal opinion, if it's in narrative it should be, "She couldn't care less what he thought."

In dialogue, it doesn't really matter all that much how it's said, because you're quoting a character.

janetbellinger
05-12-2006, 06:04 AM
If the character "could care less," that means that she really does care somewhat and is capable of less caring.