A silly little blog for me to drop the excrement of my mind.
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Published on May 11, 2008 By BlueDev In Blogging

In the written language, there are few phrases that irritate me more than this: "I could care less."

Why does it irritate me so?  Because it makes no sense.  It is often used in place of the original phrase (penned by the British) of "I couldn't care less."  This statement works.  It makes sense.  When I say it I mean exactly that: I care so little about [insert particular comment/rant/article/person here] that I actually could not care less.  That is to say, on my care-o-meter I am officially at or below zero.

Care-o-meter

So where did the illogical derivative come from?  Well, leave it up to us good old Americans to take something that actually makes sense, and turn it around so that it doesn't.  But this raises the question: What happened to the negative?  Perhaps some sarcastic punk wanted to really emphasize his/her apathy when he/she said to his/her equally stoned mate "Dude/ette, like I could care less."  Now, that makes sense.  The person is, in a sarcastic manner, emphasizing that he/she is totally apathetic.  Sounds like a reasonable language permutation to me.

In the ensuing years, though, this phrase was repeated again and again, by ignoramuses (my own personal bias there) until it actually came to resemble a proper use of language.  Now, there are plenty of places discussing this improper use of the phrase.  I link because I care.  The point that some (not all) of these references clearly make is that, in the spoken language, vocal inflection can lend meaning to the phrase "I could care less."  Delivery can emphasize the sarcasm the speaker may have intended.

However, the written word cannot.  I have previously evangelized that all written communication on the internet should have 'sarcastic green', a vile color that is used to warn the unsuspecting reader that the offensively colored words are meant to be sarcastic.  Think of the confusion this would clear up.  Lamentably, this idea has not gained widespread acceptance, and we, the readers, are forced to infer (often from barely literate writers) what passes as sarcasm.  In the end, failure ensues, ideas are miscommunicated and a visual diarrhea of smileys is used in an effort to smooth things over.

My personal bias (again) is simply this: Most people who write and say that they "could care less" are simply stupid.  They aren't trying to be witty or sarcastic.  They are ignorant, and haven't given thought to just how silly it sounds/reads when they say/write "I could care less."  Perhaps I should give them the benefit of the doubt.

Unfortunately, most bloggers haven't given me a good reason to.  In the end, as evidence by the fact that I wrote this article, I actually could care less.


Comments (Page 1)
on May 11, 2008

So, the real question becomes, why did I write this on Mother's Day?  It might have something to do with being on call, having to be at the hospital no matter what.  Only 2 more Gen Surg calls after today. . .

on May 11, 2008
I could care less.

In fact, I should care less.

I'm just too snobby a person to not care.
on May 11, 2008

Nice article, mate.  No, it doesn't make a lot of sense.  Well said.

Another expression I've seen messed up completely mess up is the French word 'Voila', which I've seen written as 'wa-la' or 'walla'.  The first few times I saw this, I wondered what the person was trying to say. 

on May 12, 2008
'sarcastic green', a vile color


Can we make it sarcastic orange? I hate orange.

 

on May 12, 2008
And by the way.

I could care less that you got stuck at the hospital on Mother's Day.

Because I feel really bad about that.
on May 12, 2008
~lw also notes that BD was the first to comment on his own article...and will toss him some karma for the chuckle it induced.




I didn't even notice!
on May 12, 2008

Another expression I've seen messed up completely mess up is the French word 'Voila', which I've seen written as 'wa-la' or 'walla'.

Yeah, I have also seen people write "Viola" instead.  I always wonder why they are talking about the most ignored of the major string instruments.

Can we make it sarcastic orange? I hate orange.

Hmm.  I don't much care for orange either.  I still think I prefer green though.  More nauseating.

Charles!

Yeah.  I would be a liar if I didn't admit that it was his overuse of this mis-expression in his most recent barely literate diatribe that triggered the reaction.

~lw also notes that BD was the first to comment on his own article...and will toss him some karma for the chuckle it induced.

I suppose I did, didn't I?  Heh, I hadn't even noticed.

SC: Thanks for your thoughts and comments bro.

on May 13, 2008

I have also seen people write "Viola" instead.

This tickled me.  I just had an image of a vaudeville magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat while exclaiming 'Oboe' or something as equally obtuse.

on May 13, 2008

I just realised how badly I messed up the first response of mine...  Pot, meet kettle

on May 13, 2008
Props on the 'Care-O-Meter' having pi on it.

PI FTW!
on May 13, 2008
It's interesting how one spends so much time making the same mistake over and over and never realizing it. Thank you for the correction BlueDev. I will keep this in mind next time in whine about something.

Charles!

He uses it so repetitively he might has well have coined it, often embellising it further with the racist rejoinder "...and if you don't like that, you can kiss my Portable Reekin' ass."

~lw also notes that BD was the first to comment on his own article...and will toss him some karma for the chuckle it induced.

(and yesh, we DID shave my head last night, it's egg-shaped.)


Hmmm,

For seemingly being unable to keep my name out of your mouth (on this thread and MANY others that I'm not participating in)


?
on May 13, 2008
Yeah. I would be a liar if I didn't admit that it was his overuse of this mis-expression in his most recent barely literate diatribe that triggered the reaction.


It was pretty obvious from the beginning actually.
on May 13, 2008
I don't like to use that silly phrase that much on forums anymore. It always leaves something that tastes like defeat every time I use it. It sounds like something angry to some people. It also leaves you open to a bait, especially if you really care even if you say you don't really care. You lose either way.

Example:

A: I couldn't care less.
B: I couldn't care less whether or not you can't care less.
A: I couldn't care less but you are wrong because....
B: If you don't care, then stop posting.

and perhaps on and on...
on May 13, 2008
Just thought I point out the similarities. Could same great minds think a like, doubt you will agree on this one time. LOL.
on May 13, 2008
meant to say "say" not "same".
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