I Could Probably Care Less, TBH
Oh. My gosh.
“I could care less about that math homework,” she tells me with a groan in her voice, a roll of her eyes, and a clear misery thanks to the homework in question. “I could care less about what the circumference of Jupiter’s third moon is,” he says with slurred words before leaning down and banging his head against the table, a silent admission of his hopelessness with the problem at hand.
They could care less. They COULD. CARE. LESS.
Really? Really? Because it seems to me like they couldn’t care less (that’s COULD NOT; that’s a contraction, a wild thing in English) based on their body language, tone of voice, or the subject at hand.
COULD CARE LESS = if you could care less about something, obviously there’s already a certain amount of caring left there. If someone cares, they probably aren’t going to talk about a subject with such disinterest (and almost misery) in their voices.
COULD NOT CARE LESS = incapable of caring in the least bit, even though you might feel an inkling of a desire to, perhaps, care.
Come on, guys, pull yourselves together.
It’s ‘I couldn’t care less’ about that math homework or the well-being of the noisy neighbor’s pet ferret or the fact that french fries are impostors and are not, in fact, from France.
It’s right there in the words: COULD. NOT. CARE. LESS.
I, for example, could probably care less about the likes of Supernatural or Bones and maybe my grades would be good enough to not make me cry, come end of semester. I could probably care less about the weather, what my mom is wearing while we both mosey out in public, or a whole array of other things that might cause me emotional damage but I can’t possibly change.
I could care less in that I probably shouldn’t care at all.
On the flip side, I could not care less about what the diameter of Bobby Joe’s tire would be on the third Wednesday in July in the year of 2090 if the humidity is 139%, the temperature is 199 K and he’s traveling on a train (tire in hand) at exactly 65 kph while aliens are robbing a bank three blocks from his location.
I also could not care less about the latest fall styles because I could care less about my dwindling bank account.
Come on, people, you’re sending me mixed signals, here. Do you care? Don’t you care? Could you care less, or could you not?
This isn’t rocket science.