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Thursday, February 12, 2009

A PSA, for me as much as you

I want to take this opportunity to bring attention to a very serious issue causing anger and turmoil in the world today. No, not really, it's a grammar pet peeve. No good getting high and mighty about it, I'm just going to allow myself to rant for a few minutes.

"I could care less about Angelina Jolie."

Really? You could? Because that means you care at least somewhat right now. Otherwise, it wouldn't be possible for you to care any less than you currently do.

Perhaps what you meant to say was:

"I couldn't care less about the price of beans in Denmark."

This means you care so little that it's not even possible for you to care less about it. You don't care at all, not one iota.

Oh, how this phrase pains me! It pains me almost as much as seeing the wrong form of they're/their/there. Or apostrophes on a plural non-possessive word.

Please, make the world a better place. The phrase is "couldn't care less". And if you use it wrong, I'm going to send angry neighbor's dog to eat your face. (See how I use apostrophes and your correctly there? I'm sure you couldn't care less.)

26 comments:

Sarah said...

Oh my god, I could totally care less about that their topic. Your nuts.

Deb said...

that's right up there with "a whole nother..." even high and mighty oprah says that and it drives me bananas!

Ryan and Katie said...

Haha! This is one of my pet peeves too. Another one is the misuse of the words "good" and "well." It's impossible for me not to correct people and I sound like such a snob when I do but I can't help it!

blognut said...

Thank you for forwarding this cause! It has been bothering me for years!

Another one - a former friend wrote in a note to me about something she did earlier in the day and she wrote, "the smorning," instead of, "this morning." I.swear.to.God. I'm so done with her now!

Cindy said...

visiting from SITS...don't visit me, I'm far from perfect.

Ryan Ashley Scott@Optimistic Cynicism said...

I have a dear friend with a similar pet peeve - mispellings and there/their/they're are two of her hates, plus alot vs. a lot, which most people don't seem to understand.

Now I have two of you to paranoid around... thanks. :) (btw - mine is to/too/two. bothers me just a tad)

andy said...

Cate, I think Sarah needs you TOO send YOU'RE dog over THEIR so that it can eat her face.

P.S. It really pained me to write the above sentence.

Call Me Cate said...

Sarah - They're totally my nuts, you're right. And I'm not sharing.

Deb - I'm lucky I haven't noticed that one very often.

Ryan & Katie - I'm guilty of this one at times. But I'll be careful not to misuse them around you!

Blognut - smorning? Good grief.

Cindy - Welcome! I'm far from perfect as well but this one just makes me crazy!

RAS - Interesting how we all have our triggers. I think for me, while I make my share of mistakes, there are some lessons I have learned so seeing those particular bumbles really grates on my nerves.

Call Me Cate said...

Andy - you commented while I was commenting. I swear I didn't ignore you purposefully. You may be very right about the neighbor's dog paying a visit to Sarah. No way was I ready for that kind of comment when I arrived at work this morning.

Bella@That damn expat said...

I was going to support some "feed the world" thing but your cause is much more important.
Sign me up.

Juliet Colors said...

Yes, please sign me up for the cause, too! I have so many grammar and spelling pet peeves it's not even funny.

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm far from perfect myself. But of course when I make mistakes, it's a "typo," certainly not sheer ignorance. ;-)

Angela said...

hahahahah. I guess I can be blamed for some grammar faux pas. I might have even spelled that wrong.

A. said...

I wish saying things like "a whole nother..." and misusing "good" and "well" were the extent of my faux pas when using the English language... I bet my English-as-a-second-language grammar mutilations could make your ears curl in disgust if I wanted to (read: turned off spell check & stopped using Dictionary.com).

Exhibit A: When I just moved here, I sometimes said "gooder". Almost drove Husband over the edge.

Call Me Cate said...

Bella - Nobody is going to take the children seriously if they say things like "Oh, food? I could care less". I hear that and think must be they don't need any food! I think we need to address this phrasing issue first.

Juliet - a typo is a completely different animal. That's not lack of knowledge, that's lack of typing skills or a renegade keyboard.

Angela - I believe you spelled it right. My boss pronounces that "foo paws", by the way.

A - you have a legitimate reason. And for the record, your abilities put a lot of native speakers/writers to shame so no worries. "Gooder" though? And he let you repeat the mistake? ;)

Grand Pooba said...

Ha! Never even thought about that phrase being correct or incorrect. I can't stand when people use the phrase "Needless to say" in the wrong context.

It wasn't needless to say if we had no idea what you were going to say. It wasn't needless to say something that was so blatently not obvious! Come on people? Is there truly anything that is really needless to say?

Thanks for the vent!

R Susanna said...

OMG! Do not read my blog. And don't go to madmedicburnout.blogspot.com either. She will drive you crazy with the wrong there/their use among other things.

Lyndsay said...

Things like that drive me bat-shit crazy, but honestly, I don't think this one was ever on my list.

Great, one more thing to grit my teeth over.

Lyndsay said...

A. - I almost spit my diet coke out over "gooder". I am a well/good natzi, so that would kill me ...

Call Me Cate said...

Grand Pooba - I think I'd interrupt with "well, if it's needless to say, don't bother!" Then I'd change the subject.

R Susanna - too late, I already read your blog!

Lyndsay - My goal is to make sure everyone is bothered by all the same things I am so I'm glad I've passed this one along.

Yaya said...

Lol! That phrase has never made sense to me either!

Hula's Secret Blog said...

I COULD care less about Angelina. Lol!

The Wife O Riley said...

That has alway made me crazy, the phrase used wrong and Angelina Jolie.

Melissa B. said...

I concur, wholeheartedly! Another one I detest: "No problem!" Nobody cares if it's a problem or not.

beckiwithani said...

I couldn't care less about "I could(n't) care less" ... having been a linguist in a previous life, I'm a grammar relativist hippie, taking evolution of language in stride (even when it looks more like devolution).

However, there are a couple of things that make me want to SCREAM, exposing me as less laissez-faire than I claim to be.

One is "irregardless." Makes me want to, in your words, punch the speaker in the face. Probably partially because the biggest chronic offender I know is a very annoying coworker.

Another is "could of," "might of," "should of," etc. THE AUXILIARY VERB IS HAVE, FOLKS! OF IS NOT A VERB AT ALL!!! These are usually indistinguishable in spoken English, but people write them incorrectly all the time.

I accidentally typed "it's" in a blog post the other day when "its" was the correct usage, and ran to correct it, hoping with all of my mortified heart that no one had read it yet.

Call Me Cate said...

Becki - oh, the times I have rushed back to my blog to correct something like an errant apostrophe. I really try to sound literate. The "have" instead of "of" bugs me too but you seem much more passionate about it.

Whitney said...

Thanks R Susanna... I just had to go read that other blog, http://photograph-aholic.blogspot.com/2010/07/day-115.html and I'm staring at it mortified.

"Whoa is me"

:(

P.S. Love your Blog Cate!