'I could care less'... is it just me?

One: it really is ‘whose’ in this case.
Two: It isn’t irony. Most of the people who make this MISTAKE are not intending irony. They are just incorrect.
Three: You got pretty hot about it, so I shall take the leap and guess you are guilty of the ERROR.
Four: You still have a chance to come over to the light side.
Five: I realize this post will be recieved with about the same amount of enthusiasm as my application for a snowcone franchise in hell.
Six: What’s wrong with head over heels as a colloquialism?

One: OK, i made a mistake.

Two: Yes, it is. Yes, they are. No they’re not.
Explanation: Say aloud the two sentences, “i couldn’t care less” and “i could care less” … as you say the second sentence, you’ll notice that emphasis is put on different words. That’s the sarcasm kicking in.

Three: I can’t be guilty of the error if there is no error.

Four: Luke, i am your father.

Five: And i expect the same reception. Especially from someone whose only argument is “no, it isn’t”.
By the way, if you want to nitpick, it’s “i before e except after c”, so the word is “received”.

Six: Everyone is head over heels if they are standing up. So if you say “i’m head over heels in love”, are you saying “i’m so much in love that i’m standing up”? No, that sentence means “i’m so much in love that i’m doing backflips (or cartwheels or whatever)”, which should make the expression “i’m head over heels over head over heels in love” … i’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with it, i’m just making a point that sometimes expressions don’t mean what they literally mean.

I agree with the OP on the “I could care less” issue, but I have another one that makes me insane. I admit that I’ve only heard one person do this, but she happens to be my best friend. <sigh>

Here it is: there is a difference between “when” and “whenever”. When refers to a specific event. Whenever refers to a recurring event.

For instance, my friend has a habit of saying things like “Whenever I was at the store earlier, I picked up some milk.” Arrrgggh!!! Not whenever!! WHEN WHEN WHEN!! WHEN you were at the store earlier, you picked up some milk.

Oh…she also does that “the floor needs waxed” thing as well. It’s a good thing I love her.

[sup]Banging my head against the wall…[/sup]

BTW…I have to agree with Yankee Blue on this one. In all of the instances in which I’ve pointed out to someone the difference between “I could care less” and “I couldn’t care less”, I have, without fail, received a blank stare. I in no way believe that these people were being deliberately ironic or sarcastic in their utterance of “I could care less”. They simply didn’t think about the difference between the two phrases, and when the irony was pointed out to them, they invariably said something to the effect of “Oh…whatever.”

Can we also talk about people who say “supposably” here, or should we start a new thread? :smiley:

The “head over heels” phrase was – briefly – covered in this thread


which contains a link to a response by Cecil (I’d include that link too, but I’m at the limit of my link-making)

Still think it’s a dumb phrase.

Another candidate … peppering conversation with “you know” - uh … no I don’t know, please explain (I do this to my teen all the time).

It’s not really relevant. I just really hate that song. The mention of Charlie Daniels reminded me of the song, so I felt that I should rant about it.

*Originally posted by Monocracy *Six: Everyone is head over heels if they are standing up.

Another pet peeve!!
It’s “Everyone is head over heels if HE IS standing up.” “Everyone” means “every single one”, so you must use the singular form of a verb with “everyone”. Just another grammar pointer. I have nothing against ya, Monocracy.

everyone … they

Sorry, Feelyat, i’ll have to disagree with you on that one. According to The alt.usage.english FAQ,

Singular “they” (as in “Everyone was blowing their nose”), which has been used in English since the time of Chaucer, has gained popularity recently as a result of the move towards gender-neutral language … Discussions about gender-neutral pronouns tend to go round and round and never reach a conclusion. Please refrain.

Definite words of wisdom.

head over heels

It seems Cecil did a rush job on this article. Not only does it contain a typo, but he failed to do significant research on the phrase, noting only that ‘“Head over heels” is a corruption of “heels over head,”’ However, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, head over heels is defined as ‘Rolling, as in a somersault: “tripped and fell head over heels.”’ And, again, The alt.usage.english FAQ mentions that either one could be the case.

could care less

It is entirely possible to use sarcasm or irony without conscious effort, especially in an expression that’s over 40 years old. Most people are not very inquisitive by nature, so those blank stares you’re getting is probably their way of saying, “I could care less about grammar and etymology.”

The AFU and Urban Legend Archive and The American Heritage Book Of English Usage both agree with me.

The alt.usage.english FAQ (did i mention that this site sometimes uses Cecil as a source?) says that it is a possibilty.

The only source i could find that disagrees with me (besides amateur etymologists on message boards) is Common Errors In English, which seems to use the I AM RIGHT BECUZ I AM SMARTRE THEN YUO debating tactic.

I thought SD was all about fighting ignorance. If you say that someone is wrong when there are a number of logical possibilities, aren’t you being close-minded?

I personally get a lot of my information from my English professor, who has a Ph.D. in English(I’m not trying to be matter-of-fact about it), and she has said that you must use the singular form of a verb when using everyone and that"I could care less" is not a proper term. These rules mainly apply to formal compositions, but I try to apply formal grammar rules to spoken word as well. Maybe using rigid rules of grammar is close-minded. You’ve helped me to open up my mind to new possibilities. What the whole matter boils down to is a matter of opinion, which weshouldn’t state in a stubborn, close-minded manner.

I think that a thread about gender-neutral language should be started, if it hasn’t already. The rules of grammar should be stretched or changed somehow to become more gender-neutral.

I’m still new to the world of real grammar. In high school I wasn’t taught correct grammar or writing rules, so I’m in the process of being deprogrammed. I’m also not a true Straight Doper. I need someone to show me the ropes and slap me around, but maybe I should start a separate thread about that. <sigh>

I’ll agree that no irony is intended, but this still doesn’t make it incorrect, mostly for one reason. In actual usage, “I could care less” and “I couldn’t care less” do not mean the same thing. The former implies a certain amount of apathy relative to some higher level of interest previously referenced or implied. The latter means just what it sounds like: “I couldn’t fucking care less.” Basically, the former is much less harsh than the latter, making it very useful.

The fact that “I could care less” provides a helpful alternate meaning – a different shade of gray – to an old phrase is enough to justify its existence. There is also, however, a potential origin for it independent of “I couldn’t care less.” I have always thought of it as being shorthand for: “Well, I could care less, but I am still disinterested in the topic.”

See the difference? Now quit whining about this and move on to something important (Arrgggh . . . there are dozens of common misuses of the English language that regularly annoy me, but I can’t think of one with which to wrap up my post).

I didn’t actually want you to quit whining about this. Come on, challenge my baseless assertion!

Awww, you guys are no fun. . .

I am unsure about this but I think the “cheap at half the price” line is from a British comedian of a very long time ago. I’ll check with some older Brits I know and see if they can shed any light on it. Anyway, I believe it was supposed to be funny at one time.



*Originally posted by VarlosZ *

I wonder whether we now need a thread to address the differences between “disinterested” and “uninterested”. :slight_smile:

I’d be very interested if you do finally unearth the origin. As another poster said, it’s not very common these days, but it’s so absurd it has to have come from somewhere. Thanks…

I heartily agree, but it almost sounds friendly and old-fashioned these days, compared to the never-to-be-adequately-condemned “He was like” as in “He was like, ‘I didn’t know!’”
BTW, another personal pet peeve is the dropping of the past tense to form “old-fashion” IT’S OLD-FASHIONED, DAMN IT!

::pants, gradually collects self, promises to behave::

rude blank stare

“oh, whatever…”