Carefactor non-zero

12 PM May 24, 2006

I keep seeing Americans write, “I could care less” in reference to things they don’t care about. This annoys me. I was going to write a rambling article about it, but Paul Brians already wrote a pithy one, Michael Quinion wrote a learned one, and Kevin MacLeod drew a chart. Nice to know I’m not on my own.

By alang | # | Comments (6)
(Posted to Stuff, Rants and javablogs)

Comments

At 20:49, 24 May 2006 pinano wrote:

I think the chart may be the most effective against the ignorant.

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At 23:19, 24 May 2006 looking for song wrote:

excuse me but do u have a copy of calling dr. who by raindancer that i could get from you im trying to see if its this song. http://content.ytmnd.com/content/c/b/1/cb1ae562778d8639faaa72dfd5099704.mp3 please contact me by AIM on the s/n skynetmachine or email me skynetmachine2004@hotmail.com thanks alot and i know this is random but i NEED to see if its this song and this site came up when i searched for it on google. so if you could help in any way that would be great

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At 23:29, 24 May 2006 looking for song wrote:

excuse me but do u have a copy of calling dr. who by raindancer that i could get from you im trying to see if its this song. http://content.ytmnd.com/content/c/b/1/cb1ae562778d8639faaa72dfd5099704.mp3 please contact me by AIM on the s/n skynetmachine or email me skynetmachine2004@hotmail.com thanks alot and i know this is random but i NEED to see if its this song and this site came up when i searched for it on google. so if you could help in any way that would be great

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At 01:45, 25 May 2006 Andy Todd wrote:

Bloody seppos, going around ruining our language.

I shall have to "go visit with them" to remonstrate. Or perhaps "smack them upside the head". Or, and now here's a radical concept, we could just bomb the wotsits out of them. It seems to be a valid policy for every other problem in the world.

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At 13:02, 07 Jun 2006 Janet wrote:

Slow news day over there, guys? It's amazing to see how other English speaking people around the world worry about how we Americans corrupt the language. We don't mean to offend when we're cavalier about the language and I admit that I, too, have always been bothered by "I could care less" but only when used seriously. Of all the misuses, there are worse offenses, such as "hopefully" used to mean "I hope that".

But allow me to defend this one because it isn't a corruption. It is an impression. "I could care less" is a phrase that came into the culture by a segment of the population known for broken English, and employing phrases such as ba da bing. We haven't adopted most of those cooruptions - and people in America still say "I couldn't care less" I assure you. So why has this one caught on? Because sometimes you want to convey an attitude of utter resigned contempt and that is handily done if you adopt the attitude of a Bronx native throwing disgust at a problem. In that case, you must use "I could care less" or it's just not authentic.

Language has differing dimensions depending upon whether it's written or spoken. When one uses "I could care less", it must be also spoken - it just doesn't translate when written - and with a slight "New Yawk" accent. What a colossal waste of time to write a treatise on why this is grammatically incorrect! Has no one anything else to do? How do you convey those additional dimensions where you live? Or does everyone speak the Queen's English?

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At 00:46, 08 Jun 2006 Alan Green wrote:

While I appreciate that "I could care less" may be understood by New Yawkers, I assure that it just doesn't make sense to the Australian ear. To judge by the articles I linked to, it's not just Australians - there are complaints from all around the world, including from the USA. I suppose it comes down to communication, and when I hear or read "I could care less", it's not truly communicating the speaker's (or author's) intent.

I will, however, endeavour to care less from now on.

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