gmalivuk wrote: Copper Bezel wrote:
It's just a well-known one with exposure, like "ironically" and "literally" and "irregardless" and a bunch of others. They're well known enough that people talk about them with other people who are also annoyed about those particular cases and reinforce their feelings on them. People who complain about any one are also more likely than average to complain about others in the set.
Yes, but why are these the examples in that set? Why "could care less" but not "could give a damn"? Why "literally" and not "truly"?
Only speaking for myself here, but there are several reasons why I hate "could care less" while not caring much about the others.
1. "Could care less" serves no purpose*.
If someone says "that is literally the worst thing I have ever heard" about something that literally is not the worst thing they have ever heard, the usage served a purpose. People with a "literally" pet peeve may not approve of the purpose, but they don't deny it exists.
In contrast, I deny that any usefulness exists for "could care less." It removes clarity, it does not intensify, it does not paint a different picture; it is a universally inferior statement.
*: Except possibly to add an air of hostility directed at the conversation and its participants. That is the only way I would use it, and the way I am likely to interpret it.
2. "Could care less" is genuinely dumber.
Compare to your "could give a damn" example. That suggests that you do not give a damn.
"I could care less" is equivalent to "I do
give a damn."
3. The explanations people give make it dumber still.
It generally isn't used like a sarcastic "yeah, I sure care about that." That doesn't match the tone or context. I admit that it could be used that way, but in reality I hear it used identically to "I couldn't care less."
It generally isn't used in the form of a question. "I could care less?" Again, tone and context.
Both of the above, if I actually believed they were used that way, could be used (depending on context) in a hostile manner, or as a direct rebuff. But I admit that they are not necessarily so.
Part of my hatred of the phrase comes from the explanation "not caring enough to get the phrase right (or to make sense) only intensifies the expression of not caring." To which I respond "yes... but not caring about me, and the conversation, as opposed to the subject." I haven't seen that explanation used in this thread, but having seen it elsewhere influences my interpretation.
4. The inherently dismissive nature of "could care less" makes it more suited to hostile usage and interpretation.
An equally pointless, stupid phrase that meant "it's a nice day out" would not draw my ire as much.