Dear America… | David Mitchell’s SoapBox
David Mitchell explains to Americans why “I could care less” is wrong, as is “holding down the fort”, and beseeches us to use the Queen’s language properly.
My response: maybe it’s because I’m an English major, but I’m pretty sure most Americans would agree “I could care less” is incorrect if you think about it. However, when I hear it in conversational usage from those around me, I’m personally not jolted in horror like I am when someone messes up your/you’re in type.
I think it’s the same thing as when I ask people, “Do you mind if I (perform action x)?” And the correct response should be (if you assent to their action) “no”, as in “no I don’t mind” but oftentimes people say “sure” or “yes” to mark their assent. Even though technically, they’re saying “yes, I mind, don’t do that”, I personally forgive them for mistaking the construction in a moment of conversation. (To personally avoid said mistake, I have programmed myself to never actually answer the question, “Do you mind?” and instead reply with “go ahead.”)
The same goes for “I could care less.” I understand they mean “I couldn’t care less” quite intrinsically and won’t bother to correct them.
But I’m pretty sure we’ve all switched from “I could care less” to “I gives no fucks” anyways.