(Closed) Help me settle this…Could vs Couldn't care less

posted 5 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 4
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@SweetMelissa429:  It’s couldn’t – it rips my knitting (gets on my nerves) when people say could lol

Post # 5
3755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

That one drives me nuts as well. It’s COULDN’T. 

Post # 6
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

It’s couldn’t.

“I couldn’t care less…” meaning you have no cares about x.

“I could care less…” meaning you do still have some cares about x. 

Post # 7
2055 posts
Buzzing bee

@SweetMelissa429:  “Could” is simply the past tense of “can.” Taken straight from the dictionary:

could (kd) verb. Used to indicate possibility: “they could be right”.

 You are correct. You are saying you could not possibly care less than you do right now, which means your care-o-meter is officially at 0. Send her this photo to explain:

“I could care less” means that there is a possibility you can care less (ex. if the care-o-meter was at 3). 

Post # 9
9954 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

TO @SweetMelissa429:  Interesting topic.

Based on some quick research I have discovered the following…

The phrase “I couldn’t care less” originated in the UK.

The phrase “I could care less” in the USA… and most likely around NYCity.

In America they are used interchangeably… correctly or incorrectly so.

BUT that some believe the US version, actually has a sense of “irony” to it.

In the same way that other commonly used idoms / expressions do here … such as “That is just great”… “I should be so lucky”… “Tell me about it” etc.


I couldn’t care less = I care so little that I could not possibly care even less than that.

I could care less = I care quite a bit about the topic, but I could / do choose at this time to care a little less than that.

Lol, now if all the users of these phrases actually consciously choose one or the other, or if it is a case of just falling back upon the one they are most familiar with (heard more often… which by default would be the NA / US version).  Well that is another matter.

And I for one… who loves all things trivial…

Well I could care less

‘-) *wink*

To each their own…

Hope this helps,

PS… Now if anyone wants to discuss Inflamable vs Flamable… or Invaluable vs Valuable…


Post # 10
2126 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I tried to explain this to Darling Husband once…he just couldn’t wrap his mind around it…to me it’s obvious that it only makes sense to say you “couldn’t” care less. 

To say you could care less literally implies you care!! Why this is hard for people to understand I dont’ get. I notice it everytime someone uses the expression. 

Also, ever notice when people say Irregardless instead of just regardless. lol

Post # 11
13096 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

It’s couldn’t.  The phrase don’t make sense (at least, not for what people are trying to mean) when you say “could”.

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