I could care less. I think.

I’m having a fight with a friend because she insists that if she doesn’t care about something then she could care less, but I say that if you don’t care about something you “could not care less” because you if you could care less then that  implies that you must care a little if you have the ability to care less about something.  I asked Victor his opinion and he said he could not care less which I think means that he agrees with me but honestly now I don’t even know how words work anymore.

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And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday wrap-up!  (Except  technically  it’s the Monday wrap up because I was sick on Sunday and everything fell apart.

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by The Uncurated Mama.   “This is for all of those mamas out there who look at perfectly curated social media pages with envy and look around at the Cheerios on the floor and pillow forts in the corner and decide not to capture it for the Instagram world because the dust bunnies in the corner make you look bad. The mamas who are getting by with more microwaved dinners, sticky fingers, and over-booked calendars than you’d like to admit…this is for us. I got you!”  If you’re a mom you should check it out.  I recommend starting here.

142 thoughts on “I could care less. I think.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. OMG this is one of my biggest pet peeves. OF COURSE the correct saying is “could NOT care less.” As usual, you are soooooo correct, Jenny!

  2. I’m with you… If you could care less that means you have more fucks to give. If you could NOT care less, there are no more fucks.

  3. If you don’t care it’s “I could not care less” becoz you cannot care any less than you already do.

  4. As the daughter of an English/grammar teacher, I can confirm that “could not care less” is correct, for exactly the reason you specify. ♥️

  5. You are definitely correct. If you could care less, that literally means you could go lower on the scale of caring. But if your already couldn’t care less, you are right at the bottom with 0 cares.

  6. YOU ARE CORRECT. If you COULD care less then you have not reached the bottom of uncaring yet. Simple logic. Also I learned this in 2nd grade from Charlotte’s Web when the lamb said pigs meant less than nothing.

  7. This is a big annoyance of mine as well. If you could care less, then go ahead care less. There is apparently still some care there if there could be less!

  8. I read your last paragraph as “pillow farts” and was intrigued. “Pillow forts” are less fun.

  9. “I could care less” comes, as far as I can tell, from Yiddish. That language (strictly, a creole) doesn’t quite use tenses in the same way as English. Therefore “I could care less” isn’t correct English, but it is correct in Yiddish and therefore arguably correct as idiom.

    So if she wants to use it, she can do so. And if you don’t, then don’t. But I could care less.

  10. “Couldn’t care less” is the same as “could not care less.” “Could care less means” you care. Thus Enders today’s grammar lesson.

  11. I got the Rory and Juanita bag for grocery toting, and also the Totes McGoats bag, and you should see all the stares I get. I especially enjoy carrying the R&J bag with the “HIGH FIVE MOFO” side visible to onlookers. I don’t understand why no one has rushed up to me to ask where I got the bags, but I couldn’t care less.

  12. You are right. It’s “I couldn’t care less.” if you COULD care less then you do care, but could care less.

    Anyway. The whole thing makes my brain nurt!

  13. I always thought that “I could care less!” was the sarcastic version of “I couldn’t care less!” But I like the Yiddish explanation better.

  14. I’ve always said “couldn’t care less” but honestly “I could care less,” dripping with sarcasm, could be more appropriately withering, depending on the situation.

  15. Pingback: Just Jenn
  16. You are correct. Weird Al says so in the excellent song “Word Crimes.” I mean, he doesn’t specifically refer to you and your friend, that would be creepy. But the phrase should definitely include the word NOT.

  17. “I could care less” is a longtime personal pet peeve. It means that you COULD care less than you currently care. It’s like people using the word “literally” to mean “not literally”.

    Sometimes it takes everything I have to not just start throwing tomatoes at people.

  18. This is exactly why I just say “I don’t give a fuck.”

    I never understood “I don’t give a rat’s ass.” If someone does give a rat’s ass, how does that mean they care? And if someone gives you a rat’s ass, what are you supposed to do with it? It’s not even a whole rat, so I obviously can’t even mail it to you, Jenny.

    The English language is bizarre.

  19. “Could not care less” is grammatically correct. Just ask Weird Al. #WordCrimes

  20. You’re correct – it’s just straightforward English. It’s what the words mean. As a word nerd, this is one of those fingernails-on-the-chalkboard things for me, right up there with the most beaten-to-death cliche around, the one about a needle in a haystack. They make me cringe.

  21. Apparently the original phrase was “I could care less but I’d have to try.” So I think this means you are both right.

  22. It’s could not care less. And damn, that 1970s – 80s flashback was mind boggling. I also realized that my generation is probably responsible for more plastic, ozone decreasing and sugar related items than any previous generation.

  23. I always respond by adding the word “possibly”: I could not possibly care less. Makes it clear that you are right!

  24. I love that you have 333 variants of neanderthal DNA. And I thought my dad and I had a lot (with him having 303 and me having 302). Based on what I learned about your family by reading your books, I bet you got most of your neanderthal from your dad.

  25. You’re right. It’s couldn’t care less, if you couldn’t care less. Saying you could care less means that you care a little about it. It makes me crazy when the “Could Care Less” crowd is so adamant they couldn’t care less.

  26. You are correct, and your friend is just wrong. It’s kind of like if I said I could DO less, and we all know that’s not possible. Nothing minus nothing is still nothing.

  27. Jenny, you’re right. Some friend! Tell he/she/them that we all said so. Although, saying “I could not care less” sounds unnatural. “I couldn’t care less” sounds about right.

    As soon as I get back to regular blogging again, I’m going to link your blog, blog about your blog, and plug your books. Though I have spoken about depression/mental illness on my blog before, the entry you posted recently about being depressed inspired me a great deal. I mean it. It’s getting me to come out of the black hole and write again. Thank you so much!

  28. My Rory & Juanita bookbag was much admired by another passenger on a flight from El Paso to Seattle on Saturday. “I loved that book!” she said.

  29. Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes” mentions this–the correct phrase is “I couldn’t care less.” (I got to show the video in my writing class today, because it’s National Grammar Day!)

  30. Oh man, it really grinds my gears when I hear “could care less”. Hopefully this is a teachable moment, brought to us by The Bloggess—and you know she’s legit because she’s on a course syllabus😊

  31. Jenny – not related to today’s post, but I thought it was too good to ignore. Have you seen the “Dragon” books? How to Train your Dragon to Deal with Anxiety. Teach your Dragon to be Patient. And more. So amazing to have books for kids with anxiety and other issues!

  32. I couldn’t care less is for when you hangs zero fucks to give on that topic or to that [noun].

    Occasionally, you have to admit, “I could care less, and I’d kinda like to, but the dumpster fire is kind of fascinating so I just can’t stop looking…”

  33. Hooray! I am vindicated! I have said I could NOT care less for years, with those who could care less relegated to the place where people who get “then and than” mixed up. Also two- too-to, or “there and their”. Bugs the heck outta me but perhaps I should say: יכול לדאוג פחות

  34. you are definitely correct. I could not care less, means you give zero fucks to infinity and forever. AMEN!!!

  35. British English teacher here, ‘I couldn’t care less’. I thought the other variant was an American English thing. Like being ‘pissed’ instead of ‘pissed off.’ In the UK, being pissed is having had too much alcohol.

    Now I’m curious about the Neanderthal thing. It’s only in the last few months I found out that the Neanderthal were not wiped out by violence or illness, but by breeding with sapiens. They were supposedly a much gentler race.

  36. You’re right and she’s wrong. She’s also lucky to have a friend like you, because if she had a friend like me, she couldn’t be my friend after that. When it comes to using the language properly, I couldn’t care more.

  37. I’m one of those people who were trained to care a great deal (thank you, parents who were teachers, for a lifetime of sticklering: an emblematic memory is the time my mother left me at school in a rainstorm, came to pick me up over an hour late, apologised, I reassuringly said “Don’t worry! I don’t melt.” and all concern disappeared as she snapped “Dissolve!”).

    I believe you are correct: it’s “I couldn’t care less”. It’s an expression of the depths of uninterest (note: not disinterest!).

    One of the many problems with people is that they tend to be pretty lazy, and will drop words out of phrases, which is pretty much what’s happened here. Another problem is that people really like what’s familiar to them, and hold buckle-and-thong to erroneous notions if argued with.

    In a tenuously-related fact, I was astonished to hear that – over time – apparently people gradually choose words which are easier to say, and drop difficult words and sounds, so over centuries languages sort of smooth out… Imagine us all speaking a kind of inarticulate mush in the distant future…

  38. I agree with you that it’s “couldn’t care less”. “Could care less” drives me up a tree, as does using “literally” to mean “figuratively”. Words mean things, people! whew Sorry. Thanks for giving me the chance to vent.

  39. THANK YOU! I agree with you. That’s one of my pet peeves. Another one is that phrase you always hear… “You get what you pay for.” NO YOU DON’T How many times have I gone out for take-out fast food, arrived home to find that they didn’t give me all that I ordered and PAID FOR? It should be, “You don’t always get what you pay for. Similarly, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” is ALWAYS wrong. How else can you eat cake unless you have it? The original version was, “You can’t eat your cake and have it too.” …because once you’ve eaten it, you don’t have it any longer!
    Idioms are so tricky. People use them without knowing what they mean, meant, or are intended for…
    Personally, I could not have any less regard for that which you refer to…

    Beautiful work, Jenny!

  40. Perhaps your friend cares more than she knows…to stop fighting you could just say that you agreee to disagree and let it go…

  41. You are correct ! I just hope people still care ! Like referring to “knitting sticks” instead of needles…….and, also, have you noticed ? Nobody even knows they’re all holding pens incorrectly…..gone with The (beautiful) Palmer Method we all learned in the sixties, I guess, is even learning the proper way for the best handwriting…..nobody learns “cursive” anymore…..do kids even know theat word ? Or that “diagraming sentences” is a learned skill ? But they Have leaped-frogged ahead by starting a foreign language and algebraic concepts in elementary…..
    ps Thanks for always saying depression lies…..but does it always ?
    (Bad day yesterday…..) bye. 👋

  42. Great Odin’s Raven it drives me bonkers when people say this incorrectly haha I totally agree with you, because you are absolutely correct!! Thank you for this <3 <3

  43. You are correct. It is “could not care less.” If you could care less, you do care some. Source: am the daughter of not one, but two English Literature Ph.D.s. And I do love the tote bag!

  44. My sister and I have this day argument about the idiom “do you mind/would you mind?”
    I think that regardless, I do mind… about whatever; but, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to do said item or will feel put out by it.
    Any thoughts?

  45. As I’m sure ALL the other commenters ahead of me have stated, YES, if you “could” care less, then you actually DO care. If you “couldn’t” care less, then you care SO LITTLE that caring less would equal a negative number of caring, which is not physically possible in this plane of existence. Which also means that Victor agrees with you on something! WHAT?

  46. That ’70s-’80s page is a RABBIT HOLE! I actually MISS some of the footwear, but I do still remember almost everything posted there. It was difficult, but I managed to break away, thanks, Jenny.

  47. I’m with you, Bloggess: If one can care less, there is room for more not caring. If one can’t care less, boom. Done.

  48. I could not care less. And an equally annoying saying that has been illogically shortened: I can hardly wait…because “I can’t wait!” is not true. I CAN wait, and I’m going to wait. I’m just really looking forward to it!

  49. Here is how I figured it out. When someone says “I could care less,” I take it as saying “[as if] I could care less” or “I could care less, not!”. But for the record, I think you are right.

  50. Could you or couldn’t you give A shit, or if you are really upset, Could you or couldn’t you give TWO shits?

  51. I always say “I could care less……but not by much” which solves all problems.

  52. THANK YOU!!!! This has been driving me nuts for years. I keep trying to explain it to people when they say they “could care less” but no really seems to care, ironically.

  53. I think both work. “Couldn’t care less” because of the obvious argument. “Could care less” because it’s like saying you care so little already that even if you DID care less the difference would be so small as to be imperceptible.

  54. “Couldn’t care less” is correct. All other variations need not apply.

  55. I agree, and want to know your view on “ couldn’t/wouldn’t give a shit” , or “two shits”, or “ don’t give a shit (or two). I don’t know how words work either….

  56. I always thought “I could care less.” was sarcastic, and more biting than “I couldn’t care less.”, which is matter of fact.

  57. Different but similar: I like “I don’t give a care” or “she don’t give a care, y’all” if you wanna get hick with it. Welp, I hope everyone here has a great day!

  58. So – you are correct – I could not care less – also that person is NOT your friend – sorry 🙁

  59. I’m SO glad to hear you say that! It has always annoyed me no end when Americans say ‘I could care less’ and I thought you all did it. Very reassured to discover that there are plenty of you who know how nonsensical that is. Yay.

  60. Actually, I looked this up last week on Dictionary.com, and according to them, both are right. The grammar is irrelevant because both phrases are considered to be idioms so the objective can e meaning doesn’t matter. Like saying “I’m keeping tabs on you” doesn’t actually mean what it says, it simply holds an agreed upon cultural meaning.
    https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/couldnt-care-less
    https://www.dictionary.com/e/could-care-less/

  61. As someone who grew up in the 70’s I’m trying not to care less that I can’t access the page without a FB account:((

  62. I worked with someone years ago that used to just say “I could care…” very sarcastically. It works pretty well for a put down, actually, and it skirts the entire issue.

  63. Originally the saying was “as if I could care less” but people dropped the important first bit.

  64. Hi Jenny,
    1) Agree with you (and pretty much everyone here) that couldn’t care less is the correct construction.
    2) If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can’t look at the second link. ☹️
    That is all.

  65. This drives me crazy; short drive, but still. . . Definitely “could NOT care less”. However, maybe you could gift her a ZFG (zero f’s given) coin – another awesomely weird product that can be found at Amazon.com – and avoid the grammatical frustrations. Or maybe a copy of “I judge you when you use poor grammar”; a little blunt, but fun.

  66. I suppose you could pose it as a question ‘I could care less? No, I could not!’ or add ‘As if’ to the beginning. My other phrase hate is ‘Cheap at half the price’ Of course it is, it’s 50% cheaper. I’m a firm believer in ‘Cheap at twice the price’ as an encouragement to purchase.

  67. I still need a Juanita product without the profanity. I’ve got the mouth of a sailor but I don’t wear it on my clothing.

  68. It is 100%, most definitely ‘could not care less’ but if she feels confused she can use my favorite ‘I could give two shits’ which swears it up nicely

  69. “couldn’t care less” is the correct usage. You are 100% right that if you “could care less” it doesn’t mean that you don’t care. This is one of those grammatical errors that has become popular in recent years and I try very hard not to let it drive me crazy, but, it does.

  70. People with superior vocabularies (the Brits) say ‘couldn’t care less’ b/c there is no less available.
    Perhaps there’s a third option?

  71. You are 100% correct on this one. If she could care less, that means she is not at absolute give zero cares capacity and does still care on some level. If you could NOT care less, there is no lower level of caring capacity to which one can even travel. Zero care factor reached.

  72. i love that goldmine of 70s/80s crap you found! i had to bookmark it to pillage later, because the first thing i saw was weebles and i love telling people how i deliberately put one of those in my tub drain once just to see if it would fit…and it did…and it WOULD NOT COME OUT. also i think it is funny i am the first twitter response under your eventual victor in the neanderthal-off. how did that happen? i think you should make yourself a sash anyway. out of whatever you want. you should cure the hide first, though.

  73. “Konrad Yarbrough | March 4, 2019 at 8:19 pm
    Actually, I COULD care less, but it’s just not worth the effort.”

    This. If “I couldn’t care less” is the least you could care, then your default level of caring about anything is 0%.

    If your default is higher than that, then you have to actively try to not care about something to get to the minimum.

    It’s very Zen. Maximum not-caring can only be achieved by caring enough to not care.

  74. If we’ve finished with caring less, could we please move on to lay versus lie?

  75. … I have to agree with you, but arguing grammar on the internet is something I couldn’t care less about. Also, I would probably vote in your favor, just because I like you, but I do think you’re right.

  76. I would immediately stop being friends with someone who didn’t know how words work…(JK, but a little bit serious….)

  77. I’d say ZERO CLUCKS GIVEN instead, and literally have sticky notes with “cluck” wrote on them to hand out in special situations. LOL! It’s so hard to be the grammar police with friends 😋.

  78. You’re right. It’s “couldn’t care less”, and people are lazy, so they start erasing bits of words so that they can save themselves an extra .25 of a second – in this case, it’s “n’t” they’ve lopped off.

  79. Maybe “I could care less” is supposed to have a snide and snooty little question mark at the end.

  80. I could not care less is the correct one. The other one that drives me nuts is when people say, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. The correct saying is, ” You can’t eat your cake and have it too”. Think about it! But my favorite is when someone says, “It was the least I could do”. Really!??!! Thanks for the effort! LOL

  81. Your way is absolutely correct! I WISH I couldn’t care less when people say they could care less….Makes my eyelids twitch when I hear it said that way.

  82. Glad im not the only one.
    I agree with you. You get to a point
    In life when we know when to pick
    Our battles with. Most have a certain
    Set of ours. Commom sense doesn’t grow
    In everyone’s garden. Great blog.

  83. Couldn’t care less…

    And as for social media, I am currently on a social media fast, mush for the same perfectly curated reasons you cite above.

    I have Marie Kondo-ed my digital life. It’s much, much quieter around here. 🙂

  84. YES! This drives me bananas. They say it wrong on movies and television all the time. Unfortunately for me I care a bit too much and it ges on my nerves. Oh how I wish I couldn’t care less about this.

  85. I agree with you, and I couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks. Also, I wish people would never say “irregardless.” That makes no sense at all.

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