Let’s broach the subject of caring. Sometimes you care a lot, and sometimes you barely care. At times you care so very little that, in fact, you could not possibly care any less. Care = zero.
So it should be obvious, then, that the phrase you would utter would be, simply, “I couldn’t care less.” Easy, right?! Not for everyone.
Lauren offers her take on the situation: “If I hear one more person butcher this phrase by saying, “I could care less,” I will physically make him or her care less. I believe what you are trying to say, you nincompoops, is that you COULDN’T CARE LESS!”
Caro’s opinions on the matter usually take shape much less eloquently. Upon hearing someone say, “I could care less,” she tends to make any of a series of frustrated sounds (like “ughhh!” or “arggghhh” or “skdksjwhejdxf”), run around in circles (arms flailing, no doubt), and yell, “SO YOU DOOO CARE!” Ok, maybe that’s what she does in her mind. In real life, the reaction is more like intense judging eyes.
Cleary, the misuse of this phrase makes us a little loopy. We’re out to make things right.
So, just for you, Lauren has created a hypothetical conversation and accompanying rant to help illustrate the issue:
Sally: “I really like green jello, and there are tiny blue men running around my house.”
Billy: “I could care less.”
Sally: “Aw thanks! That’s so sweet that you care!”
THAT, PEOPLE, IS WHAT SAYING “I COULD CARE LESS” ACTUALLY MEANS! It means you DO care and could possibly care less than you do. Instead, Billy should have said:
Billy: “Frankly, Sally, I couldn’t care less about your schizophrenia or passion for gelatinous desserts, but can we go to the movies now?”
Caro’s response to Lauren’s rant: “I like how Billy has diagnosed Sally with schizophrenia.”
Lauren says: “Oh? I couldn’t care less.”
So there you have it. Now you can confidently go forth and properly express whether you do or don’t care. If you DO care, you COULD care less. If you DON’T, the proper phrase is: “I couldn’t care less.”
Lesson #1 is complete. Over and out.