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Could or Couldn't care less : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Could or Couldn't care less

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
Laycrew
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Could or Couldn't care less

Postby Laycrew » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:10 pm

I was scrolling through Twitter a few months ago and saw a retweet from an editor claiming that "The saying is Could care less, people." That stopped me in my tracks and I wondered about this for weeks. I had always heard it or thought of the saying as Couldn't care less. Because when I say it, it actually means I really don't care and couldn't possibly care any less about whatever it was. I even Googled it to see what the saying was and there is great debate that I wasn't all that aware of. One article I read agreed with me. When you say Could care less, it means you care at least a little bit, you could care less, but maybe you don't or you are just indifferent. I guess it is one of those cliched phrases that has changed its meaning and actually isn't wrong, it depends on if it really reflects what you are trying to say.

What are you thoughts- to you is it Could care less or is it Couldn't care less?

TerryRodgers
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Re: Could or Couldn't care less

Postby TerryRodgers » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:14 pm

I agree with couldn't care less because I don't want to have to care less with could care less. I think the editor is wrong.

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Re: Could or Couldn't care less

Postby Laycrew » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:34 pm


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updog
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Re: Could or Couldn't care less

Postby updog » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:40 pm

I could not care less.
"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?" ~ Steven Wright



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pls
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Re: Could or Couldn't care less

Postby pls » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:37 pm

Tweets from Twitter are about about as accurate as Facebook reposts of memes. Ignore them all.
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Jowen
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Re: Could or Couldn't care less

Postby Jowen » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:51 pm

"I couldn't care less," is stronger, more emphatic, and means I am completely indifferent the the situation, while "I could care less" (with an appropriate shrug of the shoulders), implies little interest in the subject. If there is a right or a wrong, I don't know, but I would always use couldn't care less.
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DrG2
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Re: Could or Couldn't care less

Postby DrG2 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:05 pm

I couldn't care less is correct.
I could care less could be correct for some (less than smart) characters to say in dialogue.

BTW, was the tweet dated April 1?

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Re: Could or Couldn't care less

Postby mammamaia » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:30 am

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James A. Ritchie
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Re: Could or Couldn't care less

Postby James A. Ritchie » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:17 am

Just who was this "editor"? I can't imagine a good editor anywhere who would think this way.

Laycrew
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Re: Could or Couldn't care less

Postby Laycrew » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:26 am

I don't know who the editor was. I'm pretty sure it was a retweet from someone I was following and I checked that person out to see why they felt they were an authority to make the claim. It was months ago and not anyone I ever would work with. And it struck me with how anyone could claim to be an editor and form editorial opinions and yet still not really have a clue.

Mostly it made me think. It is also one of those sayings that gets changed, sort of like the game of telephone. They say what they hear or what they think they hear. People obviously don't think too much about the meanings of cliches sometimes when they choose to use them.

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