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Thread: i couldn't care less

  1. #1
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    i couldn't care less

    ive been lurking around these forums for a while now (and occasionally posting) and one thing i have noticed some peculiarities of speech amongst different cultures.

    Im from New Zealand, and if there is an issue that really doesnt interest us, we would say we 'couldnt care less'.
    I have noticed that most of the people on this forum say they 'could care less' when it seems to me that they mean the opposite. Is there an explanation for this apparently bizzare turn of phrase that im missing?

  2. #2
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    No, "I couldn't care less" is the correct way to say it, no matter where you're from. "I could care less" is simply wrong. Like "irregardless." Just wrong. No explanation.

  3. #3
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    I think it's an American thing.



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  4. #4
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    No, I hear it here as well. Bugs the heck out of me.

  5. #5
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    Wouldnt american customs tend to spill into canada tho? i mean the countries are bordering each other, they probably pick up the same tv channels, and there is probably a good deal of migration between them.

    or am i way off.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    No, "I couldn't care less" is the correct way to say it, no matter where you're from. "I could care less" is simply wrong. Like "irregardless." Just wrong. No explanation.
    Yeah, people are just wrong. We have a poster on our board who gets bugged by the same phrase and I mean really bugged. Irregardless is another bad habit people pick up from each other.

    My pet peeve: people who say "eckcetera" instead of et cetera. I hear many pundits on TV pronounce it incorrectly and it drives me nuts. Where did the "eck" sound come from?

  7. #7
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    Some people don't like the 'T' in "often" pronounced.



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  8. #8
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    lol i also find miss pronounciation of etc to be an annoyance.

    its good to see others share my vexation.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lti
    Wouldnt american customs tend to spill into canada tho? i mean the countries are bordering each other, they probably pick up the same tv channels, and there is probably a good deal of migration between them.

    or am i way off.
    Yes, but not entirely. Probably the same thing as between Australia and New Zealand; you share cultural traits, but cannot be called part of the same culture.

    Unfortunately, in this case the custom did spill over. "I could care less" is alive and well in the Great White North.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march
    Some people don't like the 'T' in "often" pronounced.
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    I think Americans are very bad about this: many say "offen" and don't pronounce words like, button, cotton and important correctly. People don't like sounding out Ts.

    Then there are people who just have problems pronouncing certain syllables; for instance, my co-worker, who speaks Spanish, can't pronounce my name correctly, which begins with a shh sound. My name begins with a 'ch' and she pronounces it like the 'ch' in chair. It's like she wants to call me chorizo. But I can't roll r's very well, so it's a matter of what one is used to in their native tongue.

    Though that's no excuse for "offen."

  11. #11
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    Maybe it's a lazy tongue. People are in a hurry and it's too many syllables. But more likely, the street language is dropping the sounds and many people want to be hip. Those who enunciate may be looked at as pretentious.

    I don't know if the "t" in button and often are dropped or a silent pause. Are they saying offen or of'en. Maybe there's no difference.

  12. #12
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    No, I think the "t" in often isn't actually pronounced but the "t" in button definitely IS.

    or else it would be "bu-un", wouldn't it?


    people do drop the "t" in button in London, but it's not considered to be very good English.. 8-[



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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march
    No, I think the "t" in often isn't actually pronounced but the "t" in button definitely IS.

    or else it would be "bu-un", wouldn't it?


    people do drop the "t" in button in London, but it's not considered to be very good English.. 8-[
    Cockney?

  14. #14
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    Yep....




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  15. #15
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    Well, there is "I couldn't care less" which is entirely common here or a little more forceful " I don't give a s***". In German it is "Das ist mir scheiss egal". It means that "it is the same as s*** to me", which actually makes more sense than giving one.

    I do hope I'm not stepping over the bounds but language, including colloquial expressions and vulgarity I think are a reasonable topic of dispassionate discussion. It isn't like it is directed at someone.

  16. #16
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    You tell 'im.....



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  17. #17
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    One saying I don't like at all is: "It'd be cheap at half-the-price." for an item that is cheap already?? #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Tattum
    One saying I don't like at all is: "It'd be cheap at half-the-price." for an item that is cheap already?? #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o
    I suspect the real quote (at least it makes more sense) is: "It'd be cheap at twice the price." It even rhymes.

    "Have one's cake and eat it too" makes no sense at all. Why have cake if you aren't going to eat it? But, if you switch it around: "Eat one's cake and have it too", it makes sense.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  19. #19
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    According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the correct pronunciation of 'often' is OFF-en. OFF-ten is not even a valid second option. Likewise on MSN Encarta Dictionary (awff'n or off'n).

    However, Dictionary.com gives OFF-ten as an alternate pronunciation.

    This may be a British- vs. American English distinction.

  20. #20
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    "Cheap at half the price" is simply sarcastic.

    "Have one's cake and eat it too" is wishful thinking. Kinda like "If he had half a brain he'd be a halfwit". Oder, ein hirnlosen Holtzkopf.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Tattum
    One saying I don't like at all is: "It'd be cheap at half-the-price." for an item that is cheap already?? #-o #-o #-o #-o #-o
    I suspect the real quote (at least it makes more sense) is: "It'd be cheap at twice the price." It even rhymes.

    "Have one's cake and eat it too" makes no sense at all. Why have cake if you aren't going to eat it? But, if you switch it around: "Eat one's cake and have it too", it makes sense.
    Well, in mathematicion mode, I could argue that the 'and' function is commutative, so the order doesn't matter.

    If you wanted it to be cyrstal clear, it would need to be something like "You can't eat your cake and still have it", or "You can't have your cake after you've eaten it".

    I admit that I found the traditional formula confusing at first, until I realized what was meant. But it is traditional now, so you aren't likely to see it changed anytime soon.

  22. #22
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    Here's a pet peeve of mine. American sportscasters often (that's off'n) use the phrase "on track", as in "the Panthers just couldn't get their offense on track today". This is a valid idiom that dates back at least to the heyday of railroads, where getting "off [the] track" was an obvious problem, so staying (or getting) "on track" was a good thing. (Of course, it may go back much further, as a reference to tracking game animals.)

    However, some ignorant sportscasters (an oxymoron, maybe?) have corrupted "on track" to "untracked". Now, can somewone explain to me how that makes any sense? First of all, what does it mean? The meaning of the verb "to track" is to follow a trail. To be tracked, then, is to be followed. So how can one get untracked? There's no such valid usage, but I suppose it could mean to erase your trail so you can't be followed.

    "The Panthers just didn't leave a trail out there today"... huh?

  23. #23
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    What is "sports"? Is it something to do with "We had a good ball game but we dropped the ball so we have to keep our eye on the ball to keep on the ball... We just have to get the ball, run the ball and keep the ball".

    Phooey. I would rather watch paint dry.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan
    What is "sports"? Is it something to do with "We had a good ball game but we dropped the ball so we have to keep our eye on the ball to keep on the ball... We just have to get the ball, run the ball and keep the ball".
    Ha! Yup, that pretty much sums up every interview with every athlete that's ever lost a game. It's always exactly the same quote, every time. Why do they waste airtime with that garbage? Bah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan
    Phooey. I would rather watch paint dry.
    Agreed.

    As far as the original topic is concerned, I think that "I could care less" just means something along the lines of "I could care even less about this than I do now, which isn't much to begin with." That one doesn't bother me as much as something my supervisor at work says, which is "Let's flush out this concept," instead of "Let's flesh out this concept." That one makes me cringe every time I hear it.

  25. #25
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    Speaking of button, it's usually said "buddon" up here. Canadian thing, apparently.

    Also, (and I've noticed this on a certain American home decor show that my mother watches. You know the one) people tend to pronounce armoir "armoi" and voilà "walla" (I've even seen it written "walla") in an attempt at French pronunciation. For the love of all that is good and holy, please stop!

    I can't stand that.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    Also, (and I've noticed this on a certain American home decor show that my mother watches. You know the one) people tend to pronounce armoir "armoi" and voilà "walla" (I've even seen it written "walla") in an attempt at French pronunciation. For the love of all that is good and holy, please stop!
    So how do you want us to pronounce them? "Arm-oy" and "vee-ol-uh?"

    You can't say we're pronouncing something wrong and then not tell us how to pronounce it right!

  27. #27
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    Sorry.

    ARM-war and VWA-la.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    Sorry.

    ARM-war and VWA-la.
    You know, some day I'm going to go to one of those snooty french restaurants, you know, the ones with the stupid exaggerated fake accents? (The ones in North America, outside of Québec I mean.)

    I'm going to go to one of these and speak French. I'm convinced the overwhelming majority of these people couldn't speak the language to save their lives. Outside of the menu and "oui oui, toot sweet", that is. #-o
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  29. #29
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    Hey, I like that. I may steal your idea.

  30. #30
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    You might get something very unusual for supper!!!!



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