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You American's *could* care less but in Britain we couldn't. Why?


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#1 of 33 OFFLINE   TheoGB

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Posted April 26 2002 - 01:57 AM

It really bugs me that whereas over here we'd say "I couldn't care less about...", in the U.S. you say "I could care less..." - well I want to know how much less you could care? Posted Image

Seriously, though, that particular transatlantic change seems to take the whole meaning of the phrase away. Anyone know how it came about to change in that way?

Cheers

#2 of 33 OFFLINE   BrianB

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Posted April 26 2002 - 01:59 AM

It's just lazy grammer, perpetuated by people who couldn't care less whether they get it right or not. "I could care less" is just wrong, it's meaning is completely opposite of what the person saying it intends.

It annoys me something awful.
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#3 of 33 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted April 26 2002 - 02:02 AM

It might be a shortened version of "As if I could care less".

But wherever it came from, it's still the opposite of what is being meant.
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#4 of 33 OFFLINE   cafink

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Posted April 26 2002 - 02:04 AM

Quote:
It's just lazy grammer, perpetuated by people who couldn't care less whether they get it right or not. "I could care less" is just wrong, it's meaning is completely opposite of what the person saying it intends.

There is no "e" in "grammar," and you shouldn't have an apostrophe in "its."

Just FYI.
 

 


#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted April 26 2002 - 02:10 AM

Theo,

It's actually said both ways over here-- but I'll readily admit "I could care less" is wrong, and has bugged me for years.

-Vince
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#6 of 33 OFFLINE   BrianB

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Posted April 26 2002 - 02:16 AM

I knew the grammer police would pick up on those mistakes.
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#7 of 33 OFFLINE   David Judah

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Posted April 26 2002 - 02:49 AM

Quote:
and you shouldn't have an apostrophe in "its."

That is actually correct. It's a contraction for "it is."

Posted Image

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#8 of 33 OFFLINE   Kevin P

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Posted April 26 2002 - 03:00 AM

Quote:
"I could care less" is just wrong, it's meaning is completely opposite of what the person saying it intends.
Quote:
That is actually correct. It's a contraction for "it is."
Actually, there shouldn't be an apostrophe in this case. "its" in the possessive form has no apostrophe; "its meaning is....". If it was a contraction, you would wind up with "it is meaning is...."

The contraction of "it is" does have an apostrophe; "it's raining outside."

Here's an example of both forms in one sentence:

"It's correct that its apostrophe is omitted." Posted Image

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#9 of 33 OFFLINE   BrettB

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Posted April 26 2002 - 03:13 AM

Quote:
It's just lazy grammer,
IOW, It is just lazy grammar,

Am I missing something Posted Image

Don't get me wrong, I really could care less. Posted Image

Edit: Wrong "it's", damn I'm dumb :b

#10 of 33 OFFLINE   David Judah

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Posted April 26 2002 - 03:23 AM

I was referring to "It's just lazy grammer," but I now see Carl was referring to "it's meaning is completely opposite..."

Nevermind Posted Image

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Graham: You had disadvantages.
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#11 of 33 OFFLINE   Rob Willey

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Posted April 26 2002 - 07:46 AM

Why are you people channeling the spirit of Jack Briggs? Posted Image

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#12 of 33 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted April 26 2002 - 07:56 AM

Well, I live in Canada and I couldn't care less either. Posted Image
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#13 of 33 OFFLINE   Larry Eshleman

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Posted April 26 2002 - 10:01 AM

Something I don't get is the group of variations on the saying, "Take it with a grain of salt".

Am I correct in believing the original saying means the matter in question is so trivial, so tiny, that it is akin to a single grain of salt? If so, why do people say that something is so unimportant that you should "take it with a whole shaker of salt", for example? This would actually seem to increase the importance of it by increasing the corresponding quantity of salt. Posted Image

(Sorry for rambling off the topic; the original question just made me wonder about this.)
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#14 of 33 OFFLINE   StephenA

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Posted April 26 2002 - 10:07 AM

This reminds me of people who say drowneded. That pisses me off too. Most of my family says it, along wih alot of people I knew in school and elsewhere. I've always said drowned, and my mom and cousin used to say I said it wrong.

#15 of 33 OFFLINE   cafink

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Posted April 26 2002 - 10:17 AM

Quote:
Am I correct in believing the original saying means the matter in question is so trivial, so tiny, that it is akin to a single grain of salt? If so, why do people say that something is so unimportant that you should "take it with a whole shaker of salt", for example? This would actually seem to increase the importance of it by increasing the corresponding quantity of salt.

Actually, the saying "take it with a grain of salt" means to be skeptical of something. Salt makes food a little easier to swallow.

If something is to be taken with a whole lot of salt, then it is obviously very "hard to swallow"! The exaggerated expression is used to indicate that one should be VERY skeptical of something!
 

 


#16 of 33 OFFLINE   Drew Bethel

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Posted April 26 2002 - 10:54 AM

C'mon now guys...no need to get all wobbly and stroppy about this Posted Image
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#17 of 33 OFFLINE   Eve T

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Posted April 26 2002 - 05:27 PM

I always heard it here as "I could care less" and have always thought that simply meant, well, I could care less than you, or I could care less than her, etc. Or..I could care a whole lot less about this that I am actually caring about it. Posted Image

So some people couldn't possibly care less than they do, while others could care a lot less....am I making sense?

Anwayz, I've heard it both ways and always knew what the person was saying and it's never bothered me either way.


#18 of 33 OFFLINE   Larry Eshleman

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Posted April 27 2002 - 01:12 AM

Thanks, Carl! I'd never considered that interpretation before.
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#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Bill Cowmeadow

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Posted April 27 2002 - 03:06 AM

It's not that I couldn't care less, I just don't give a shit!

#20 of 33 OFFLINE   Rex Bachmann

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Posted April 28 2002 - 06:22 PM

StephenA wrote:

Quote:
This reminds me of people who say drowneded. ... Most of my family says it, along wih alot of people I knew in school and elsewhere. I've always said drowned, and my mom and cousin used to say I said it wrong.


Do your family and neighbors also say to drowned or "so-and-so is 'drown(e)ding' "? If so, what's happened here is that such speakers have replaced the regular present tense of drown in their grammar with the past tense form drowned (as if it were the base of the word). Once the base has been re-analyzed to drowned (where the -e- is silent (as if spelled drownd), then it rhymes with such verbs (some also nouns) as (a)bound, found, ground, pound, round, sound, which have past tenses in -ed (where the -e- isn't silent; so (a)bounded, founded, grounded, pounded, rounded, sounded. These speakers seem to feel the need to make the rhyming present drownd "sound" past tense by adding the -ed making it just like the other sound-alike verbs: found is to founded, ground is to grounded, and so on, as drownd is to X. X = "drownded". (It's called re-analysis by analogy.)
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