The Most Annoying Phrase

The most annoying phrase I have heard misspoken (or have seen typed incorrectly) is...

'I could care less.'

What they mean to imply is that they don't care at all, whereas what they have said/typed is saying the opposite. If they are able to care less they are saying that they do care: they have some amount of 'caring' that they can subtract from. If they want to say they don't care at all, the correct way to do this is by saying, 'I could not care less.' I don't understand why people get so confused with this one.

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4 Responses Mar 24, 2009

Perhaps we should just say what we mean.

or got blasted by too many english teachers

That would be fair enough, tulick - there are certainly plenty of turns of phrase that don't make logical sense - if not for the fact that the phrase was originally "I couldn't care less".<br />
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Personally I think people got confused by the double negative. Self-appointed grammarians are always saying that "double negatives" are bad English and I've seen people who seem to think this means things like "I wasn't ungrateful" rather than e.g. "I haven't done nothing".

in fact it is you that is confused because you are trying to use proper english on a saying a colocqualism which can't be done <br />
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when people say i could care less we all know what that means it is a saying not a grmatical excersise