Author Topic: Question about the use of "Could Care Less" phrase in the books.  (Read 4393 times)


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Hi Patty,

I'd just like to start out by saying I love your books, especially the Mercy Thompson series. Also, I'd like to apologize if this subject has been brought up before. A cursory search check did not bring it up for me.

A problem I keep seeing in your books is a frequent use of the phrase "could care less," as if to say the character doesn't not care about a subject. The correct turn of phrase is of course  "could not care less," meaning "I cannot care any less about a subject." The former "could care less" implies that the character cares some.

I don't understand how this could be so frequently missed by your editors. I know I risk sounding pedantic, but I had to write to you about this because each time I buy a new book of yours, I see this phrase used incorrectly and it makes me think you need better editors. Please stop making this mistake!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 01:59:40 pm by Elle »

Mike Briggs

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Re: Could Care Less
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2010, 07:51:57 am »
Mike Here:
This is one of Patty's pet phrases.  I think it's a leftover from growing up in Butte, Montana, which is a distinctly blue-collar environment.   We've argued about this phrase several times, and I prefer the "I couldn't care less" version.   

However, the phrase "I could care less" is, despite being grammatically garbled, in common use in many parts of the US.  Patty claims it's intended as sarcasm, as in "I'm sure I could care less, but I have no idea how."  At any rate, given the fact that it's a commonly-employed phrase and one of her personal favorites, I doubt she'll suddenly see the light and use the grammatically superior version.  :-' :D   

Here's a quick dictionary article on the topic:
Where's my super-suit?