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I’m Sure You Care About This Post

June 10, 2010
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Finally!  Someone said it!  Sullivan flags a video from some British cat named David Mitchell who (I’m just guessing here, I can’t actually watch the video due to, uh, what we’re calling “online technical difficulties”) corrects Americans on our usage of the phrase “I could care less.”  You know, like how it actually means you’re somewhat invested in whatever it is you’re talking about despite your best efforts to be a prick about the issue’s unimportance to you.  Drum doesn’t see a problem with it, though:

You’re saying it sarcastically. As in, “Oh sure, as if I could possibly care less.” Right? Try to imagine a world weary teenager’s tone of voice here. So both usages make perfect sense depending on how you say it.  Anyone disagree?

This sort of used to rub we the wrong way, but I have to admit that I’ve pretty much moved past it.  The only way I would ever say this would be, “I guess I could care less”, as if to say “Yes, there probably is some hypothetical situation in which that event would be more important to me than say, women’s basketball.  But this is not that situation—that’s the WNBA to me right now.”  If you say it any other way, you’re just being a jackass.  It’s not a very endearing.  A much more efficient method of signaling your indifference — while simply mildly embarrassing whomever you’re talking to rather than just being a jerk — would be just to drop a casual “carE”, being sure to lay the sarcasm on thick (by the way, if you’re looking for a way to use punctuation for sarcasm, that’s the best method).

Seriously, though.  This has been going on for twelve years?

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