With many thanks to a reader who emailed that she disagreed with my article Isn’t It Ironic because I said that by saying you “couldn’t care less,” you actually cared a little bit. The reader sent me a post by my hero Grammar Girl and an entry from Dictionary.com straightening me out. I have since changed the original article, but here is what convinced me I was wrong:
According to Grammar Girl, the phrase “I couldn’t care less” was originally from Britain and came to the US in the 1950s. It means you could not care any less than you do, so you do not care. In the 60s, the phrase “I could care less” appeared in the US. Some would say it was because sloppy or slurring speakers left off the “n’t” part of “couldn’t.” The whole phrase is ironic. If you say you “could care less,” it means you have a little bit of caring left, which is probably not what you mean. If you really REALLY don’t care, you “couldn’t care less.”
I’ve mentioned more than once that I am not an expert and I truly do appreciate when I am corrected (especially with proof of my error) so that I can fix my mistake. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen with every blog post, but it has happened a time or two.
Is there something that you are wondering about or have a burning question you would like an answer to? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do what I can to get an answer for you. In the meantime, I will work to find topics of interest to share and hopefully will be correct in my analysis of research to help others learn. As always, thank you for your support!