I could care less about people misusing this statement, but unfortunately, I don't. Using “could care less” instead of “couldn't care less” has become one of my pet peeves, probably because I'm all about logic, and the first statement isn't logical the way most people use it.
If you could care less, then there's still room to go before you hit bottom. When you couldn't care less, not even a little bit less, then you're really saying something!
Maybe I should care fewer. The misuse of less and fewer is another one of my grammar pet peeves. Advertisers are some of the worst offenders, and are just adding to the confusion over this one.
According to Grammar Girl, less should be used with a mass nouns (those things you can't count individually, like tape, coffee, rice, money), and fewer is for use with count nouns (like dollars, presents, cookies, fingers).
Target had an ad campaign last year based on their slogan of “Expect more. Pay less.”. The campaign was pretty clever, and included the following slogans:
- more splash, less cash
- more soft, less cents
- more bread, less dough
Cool right? Except that the second one should really be more soft, fewer cents. No wonder everyone's confused. If they hear and read it used incorrectly often enough, after a while it sounds right.
So, by now you probably think I'm a complete nerd, but really, I couldn't care less. 😉
The Daily Squirrel: patched
Bindi sat on the hard bench and swung her feet, the din of children laughing and playing filling her ears. She picked at a loose corner of the stiff fabric covering a hole in her jeans. No one else had iron-on patches on their knees. She frowned and quickly wiped the tears from her cheeks, looking around to make sure none of the kids had noticed her crying.
She hated her new school. The other girls always had new clothes, and they never had holes in their pants. Abby even got a pretty pink T-shirt from Justice over the weekend, and it wasn't even her birthday!
Someday, Bindi would be able to buy whatever she wanted. She was going to do whatever it took to make sure she had enough money, because her children would never go to school in hand-me-down clothes. But first, she had to survive fourth grade.