Pet Peeves for the Common Man: I Could Care Less

There are a plethora of colloquialisms that have burrowed their way into our common language like some kind of horrifying parasite. And there are many language abusers to blame, from Paris Hilton to Snoop Dogg, popularizing these vile forms of verbal vomit via various media outlets.There is one saying, however, that makes me violently halt conversations with a loud exclamation of “WTF?” every single time I hear it. You’ve heard it. You’ve probably said it. Those of you who appreciate the correct and graceful manipulation of our language may want to bite down onto a paint stirrer or a lead bullet in order to cope with the pain that is to come. Here it is, the abominable saying:

“I could care less.”

Just what the hell are you trying to communicate with that statement? You could care less? Well why don’t you then? What is stopping you from reaching the apex of Mount IDon’tGiveACrap? Maybe you’re just out of energy, sapped from a long, arduous day of being unable to care less about the general goings-on around you. I understand that; everybody gets tired and needs a boost sometimes. They make various consumer products that serve to enhance your energy. Haven’t you heard of them? Here are a few examples: Red Bull. No Doze. Cocaine. Take your pick, drink it, swallow it, or snort it up your cartilage-depleted nose, and please bring your levels of apathy up to their maximum potential.

It’s not that I’m angry that you care about something a little bit or even at all. The problem is that I know what you’re trying to express when you make that statement, and you are making a critical error. Instead of expressing your pure, unhindered carelessness, you are instead saying that you care a little bit. You are trying to act like you’re not burdened by the sophomoric weight that is keeping your peers down in their adolescent naivete. You are the equivalent of a 50′s greaser who is smoking in the boy’s room whilst combing his hair repeatedly and talking about his Chevy; thinking “cool,” acting “cool,” being “cool.” An absolute nerd walks in, pushes his glasses up on his nose and says “Gee guys, I don’t think you’re allowed to smoke in here.” Pffft, doesn’t he know who you are? “Don’t be such a square,” you respond as you make sure the sleeves of your white t-shirt are adequately rolled up, “I could care less.” Then, much to your chagrin, the principle flushes the toilet in the stall behind you and steps out, fastening his belt buckle. “Is that right, Johnny Pompadour?” He says as you swallow your cigarette, choking down the pain and swallowing the upchuck. “I guess we’ll have to see just how much less you can care in detention.” See that, kids? See how you end up in this scenario? You’re not coming off like a cool guy. You sound like a moron, and now you’re going to detention. Mom is going to be pissed.

this guy could teach you a thing or two about not giving a damn

this guy could teach you a thing or two about properly not giving a damn

This is not to be confused with the more clear statement of apathy: “I couldn’t care less.” See that? That actually makes sense. When you tell me that your mother’s dog recently went to the groomer, I am going to politely respond that my apathetic abilities have been completely depleted. I really want to care less. I want to, but I simply cannot. I am trying, in this moment, to conjure more impassivity from the depths of my being, but I am tapped out. No matter what I could do, were I to do everything in reach of my raw human power to usher more apathy into this situation, I still could not care less. It would take divine intervention for me to give less of a damn about what you just said. What’s that? Yes, you’re right. Let us pray.

And don’t you dare offer up this common but completely ridiculous explanation:  “Look, that’s how little I care. I could care less, but because I care so little, I, like, am not even going to try to not care as much as I could not care.” That doesn’t make any sense, you’re an idiot, and I hate you.

It’s time that we, as a community, start a revolution. This is about social change. I want to live in a world where people who don’t care about each other are free to talk about it correctly.

Yes we can.

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About the author

Patriot. Texan. Humor Writer. Romancer. Hero. Like it? Love it? Want some more of it? Follow @realdcm on Twitter, and stay tuned to TTM.
  • http://www.facebook.com/aevra Samantha Crane

    This, oh my gosh, this.

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