Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Is it possible to care less?

Ok. I have to take a moment to talk about what I perceive to be the gross mis-use of a couple of common phrases in the English language.

First, it troubles me when I hear people say, "I could care less." Understandably, they are trying to say that whatever is going on is of no real concern to them. If that's the case, shouldn't they say, "I couldn't care less?" I mean, "I could care less" implies that it is possible for them to care even less about the situation than they currently do. If they are trying to say it doesn't matter, I believe "I couldn't care less" is more accurate. "I couldn't care less" says that there is no smaller amount of caring they can do about a situation...they are at the rock-bottom of caring about whatever is going on.

There is one other that comes to mind: the word "arguably." Let's use it in a sentence. "The GM Hummer is arguably the biggest gas-guzzler on the roads today." Ok...I understand that we're trying to say that it can be argued that the Hummer uses the most gas. But, if we really stood by our statement, wouldn't it be more accurate to say "The GM Hummer is inarguably the biggest gas-guzzler on the roads today?" I mean, saying you can not argue against the point...now that is really taking a stand! "There is no reason to even discuss it! My point can not be argued. It is fact! It is inarguably true!"

I have to commend Jon Stewart from the Daily Show. Last week, I heard him use the word "inarguably." I wanted to stand and applaud. It was just another reason that he is my secret boyfriend (so secret that he doesn't even know about our relationship).

I think these pet peeves of mind are inarguably the most annoying grammatical errors that exist in the English language (aside from overuse of ellipses...guilty as charged!). But, then, you probably couldn't care less about what I think.

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