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“Could care less” vs. “couldn’t care less”

Dr. Gillian Bartlett, Advisor & Content Expert

Dr. Gillian Bartlett, Advisor & Content Expert

Could care less” vs. “couldn’t care less”

People have been known to engage in bitter arguments as to which of these English terms is correct. But all it takes is a bit of logic to work out the winner.

The term is meant to suggest that the speaker is indifferent to a particular situation. In fact, the speaker is so totally indifferent that it doesn’t matter at all to him or her.

Unfortunately, if the speaker says “I could care less,” that means the speaker still has a way to go before being totally indifferent. It’s only when the speaker “couldn’t care less” that he or she has reached rock bottom on the scale of caring.

It’s easy to demonstrate this on a bar graph that runs from passionate, red hot caring to cold, emotionless indifference:

“Could care less” vs. “couldn’t care less” copy-687494-edited.png

 So the next time someone tells you "could care less," don't worry until he/she says "I couldn't care less."

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