Posting this because I could care less.
I’ve been sifting through my lengthy novel-in-progress during the past few days and am craving some lighter writing, so here we go. Here’s the blog post that will bridge 4 months of internet (wordpress-specific) silence!
I love to play the role of the ranty blogger, but I sincerely hate to masquerade around like the grammar police. To me, the english language is beautiful. I love the plethora of words available for an individual to pick and pull from in order to express himself/herself as fully and clearly and representatively as possible, and I guess that’s why it feels, to me, so important that certain words and phrases be clear in their meaning and can, therefore, be used in the most appropriate context. Like (for example) the phrase “I couldn’t care less” — which is more commonly known as “I could care less.” Let’s just think about that one, together, for a moment here, because it’s a great phrase to employ and, when used correctly, can add powerful umph to any written or verbal statement. When, however, this phrase is used incorrectly (which is most often the case), it can seem very confusing to readers.
So, first of all, let’s think of when and why this phrase is typically used. Is it in situations where individuals are feeling.. angry? exasperated? Or maybe they’ve thrown in the towel and have given up on someone or something? Usually — yes. That sounds about right. So, now that we’ve established the type of scenario that we might find this phrase bundled up in, let’s create an imaginary Facebook status update (since that’s where the bulk of personal writing takes place these days.. smh) and examine this phrase in light of its (fictional) context. Here we go: “I could care less.”
Imaginary Facebook post:
“So sick and tired of being the only one who gives a flying frog’s eye around here. Well guess what? From here on out, I could care less.”
Okay. Now that we’ve simulated the usual “context” that our phrase in question is commonly used in, let’s look at what Mary Jane is really trying to say here. She’s saying, “LOOK. We’ve been in a relationship for WEEKS now and you have yet to memorize my favorite TV show, ice cream flavor OR which Pretty Little Liars star I resemble the most. I know which dumb t-shirt is your favorite to wear, which cereal brands you prefer most in the mornings and what your favorite fajita toppings are, and I also know that you are not suffocating to death in your sleep at night — that you are in fact just snoring incredibly and mind-bogglingly loudly. AND GUESS WHAT JOHN DOE?? I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU or any of these stupid things ANYMORE.”
That’s what Mary Jane is trying to communicate.. that she has ceased to care; that she CARES SO INCREDIBLY LITTLE, THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HER TO CARE ANY LESS — THAT SHE COULD, therefore, CARE — less? Wait..
So she could care less? Really?.. you mean to say to me that she is NOT caring the minimum amount of caring that is possible? cause with the way things were going, I could have sworn she meant the exact opposite.
I could care less.. I could care less.. WAIT —- wait. Now that I stop and think about it (and really consider the words coming out of my mouth and proceeding from the tips of my fingers), I get it. I toooooootally get it. So basically, Mary Jane is saying – by the words she’s choosing and through the phrase she is using – “I don’t really care, but I COULD care less.” So now then, Mary Jane has presented to us a statement that contradicts her true and actual feelings on the matter — to her audience, Mary Jane is conveying that she does not, in fact, care none at all, but still cares, in fact, to an extent that makes caring itself not entirely obsolete.
So let’s just try this whole thing over again. Mary Jane, now that we’ve got a grasp on everything, pull up your Facebook page again. Go back to the status box (and if you haven’t already deleted the previous post, please do so immediately). Now, you start typing, and let’s show this John Doe character who’s boss.
Imaginary Facebook status update (corrected version) for Mary Jane:
“So sick and tired of being the only one who cares around here. So guess what? As of TODAY – RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW – I COULDN’T CARE LESS. To be AS CLEAR AS A FRICKIN CRYSTAL, I COULD NOT CARE LESS.”
You go girl.