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Mac

"I Could Care Less..."

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Here's a thing. Surely when a character (and, in my experience, generally an American character, which might be important) says "I could care less about blah blah waffle..." it means that they have a modicum of care about blah blah waffle. This does make sense, doesn't it? It's always in a context of them really not giving a monkey's whatsit about blah blah waffle, yet my logical, rational brain will not let me breeze over this.

 

I also struggle with the word "gotten", particularly if it's written by a British author.

 

Does anyone else have pet peeves about particular foibles in novels?

 

Should I be taken out into a lonely field to be shot?

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I don't think I've ever read/heard anyone say "I could care less" - only couldn't!

 

I do hate the word gotten when used in books set in the UK though -  don't have a problem with it in books set elsewhere, but it's not an English word, although it does seem  to be creeping into common parlance here.

 

I also hate "can I get...?" instead of "can I have" - but that's more a verbal thing, I think.

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It`s more a spoken thing this, but i dislike people raising the tone of their voice  at the end of a sentence, making it sound like a question eg "so I could put the cash towards my degree". It makes it sound like a question but it is not.

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The 'could care less' thing annoys me no end but I don't thing I've ever seen it in a book. It seems a common phrase amongst American blogs, forum posts etc from what I have read. I always wondered if I had been taught the phrase 'couldn't care less' incorrectly even though it made far more sense to me.

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I don't think I've ever read/heard anyone say "I could care less" - only couldn't!

 

I do hate the word gotten when used in books set in the UK though -  don't have a problem with it in books set elsewhere, but it's not an English word, although it does seem  to be creeping into common parlance here.

 

I also hate "can I get...?" instead of "can I have" - but that's more a verbal thing, I think.

 

This is becoming commonplace, particularly in coffee shops. I make a very grumpy point of asking "May I please have a doobriewhatsit?" in polite earshot of the muppet who said "Can I get a Frappalappadingdong?"  ;)

 

It`s more a spoken thing this, but i dislike people raising the tone of their voice  at the end of a sentence, making it sound like a question eg "so I could put the cash towards my degree". It makes it sound like a question but it is not.

 

I find this really annoying, too? The raised inflection? At, like, the end of every, like, sentence? What? I'm, like, what, like, massively irritating?  :doh:

 

The 'could care less' thing annoys me no end but I don't thing I've ever seen it in a book. It seems a common phrase amongst American blogs, forum posts etc from what I have read. I always wondered if I had been taught the phrase 'couldn't care less' incorrectly even though it made far more sense to me.

 

 Exactly! If one could care less about something, it therefore indicates that one actually has a definable level of care about that something. If one could not care less about something, it illustrates the point that one couldn't give two hoots about it. I see it quite a lot in thriller/crime novels and I get terribly annoyed with myself for getting annoyed by...oh, you get the picture... :banghead:

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yeah Mac, check out 5live for football phone ins and every day on current affairs phone ins for muppets using raised inflection.

I hate to see a person write could of....should be could have.

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I've only ever heard 'could care less' being used by Americans. I agree that it's wrong because the meaning is supposed to be that they don't care at all.

 

Another one that I really, really hate is the phrase 'get off of'. We only say 'get off'. I have read this in (again, American) books for many years, and it has always brought me to a grinding halt.

 

The upwards inflection at the end of a sentence is something that I have long noticed in English speakers. At one point (years ago) I thought you all did it, but I must have been generalising at the time, because I don't notice it anymore. Or maybe I've just 'gotten' used to it(?) Hehe. I just used two of your pet hates in one sentence. :D

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The raised inflection became trendy on radio phone ins around 2005 or 2006 by my reckoning. It is as if they are waiting for the host of the show to express agreement with their views. People use it in general conversation a lot too now.

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I've always been under the assumption that the upward inflection at the end of a sentence comes from Australia - I remember when it first started becoming more common over here, and it was not long after the time that Neighbours and Home and Away were first broadcast in the UK. There was a lot of newspaper column inches and media discussions around it at the time, and it doesn't feel quite as noticeable to me any more. I do, however, notice it when watching and listening to Australian television and commentators. As a big fan of Masterchef Australia, we always chuckle at how Gary Mehigan, originally from the UK, has taken the Australian accent and the upward inflection at the end of his sentences. :giggle2: It's also prevalent among both Australian and New Zealand commentators when listening to the cricket.

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Like you Chesil, I thought the rise of inflexion at the end of a sentence was purely an Aussie/Kiwi thing. I hate it too (and being Kiwi I'm allowed!) :banghead:

 

The American 'Could care less', doesn't bother me at all. It seems to be a term everyone there uses. I find the different figures of speech to be quite fascinating and it always livens up conversation.

 

My pet peeves, which my two sons play on to the max, are the US pronounciation of Z (zee not zed) and wrath (rath not roth). It's fine to pronounce it that way if you're American .....but that's not how we say it here!!

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I pronounce it rath, always have done. ;)

Right, that's it!! You're off my Christmas card list as well ;)

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Like you Chesil, I thought the rise of inflexion at the end of a sentence was purely an Aussie/Kiwi thing. I hate it too (and being Kiwi I'm allowed!) :banghead:

 

The American 'Could care less', doesn't bother me at all. It seems to be a term everyone there uses. I find the different figures of speech to be quite fascinating and it always livens up conversation.

 

My pet peeves, which my two sons play on to the max, are the US pronounciation of Z (zee not zed) and wrath (rath not roth). It's fine to pronounce it that way if you're American .....but that's not how we say it here!!

As a person matures, they find that they could care less what bothers them. :):P

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As a person matures, they find that they could care less what bothers them. :):P

Well I couldn't care less if you could care less :giggle2:

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Well I couldn't care less if you could care less :giggle2:

What does bother me are people that don't know the difference between "zee' and "zed". Zee signifies female and Zed signifies male. :)

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What does bother me are people that don't know the difference between "zee' and "zed". Zee signifies female and Zed signifies male. :)

 

I have a feeling you're pulling our legs. But Zee certainly sounds more feminine than Zed.

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I HATE "I could care less" because it is always used incorrectly, in that the characters actually mean they COULDN'T care less.

 

If you COULD care less, then there is the chance that your care about the situation could drop, meaning you actually do care at least a little. If you COULDN'T care less, then it would be impossible for your care to diminish any further meaning that you care not a jot. It does seem to be a solely American thing though. The Brits always use "I couldn't care less" unless they watch a hell of a lot of cr@p American TV shows and have become so Americanised they adopt all the speech mannerisms.

 

"Gotten" also really gets my goat. It is "Got" - end of. Pure and simple.

 

There is absolutely no excuse for "Gotten" - it is just incredibly bad use of language.

 

I also can't stand "I could OF done that," instead of "I could HAVE done that," - incredibly ignorant use of language which is becoming more and more common. Most unfortunate.

 

Then again, I am often accused of being a Grammar Nazi. I willingly hold my had up to that one. Typos are one thing (and completely acceptable as an occasional mistake), but constant and consistent misuse of spelling, grammar, syntax, and, well, just the language that is supposedly our mother tongue, is rife and it irks me no end!

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'I could care less' irks me too, but like others have said I have only heard it on American sitcoms or TV shows. Everywhere else seems to use 'I couldn't care less' which seems to make much more sense!!

 

'I could OF' instead of 'I could HAVE' also irritates me. Mixing up 'there' and 'their', and also 'then' and 'than' is another thing that gets my goat. I don't mean to be OTT about grammar, but if it's your first language and one that you use every day in various forms (and have done for years), then you should get it right!

 

However, I do have to admit to misspelling 'definitely' wrong as 'definately' for years. It wasn't until someone was ranting about how often people misspell it that I realised. :hide: Now I'm constantly aware of it whenever I see the word. I also have a tendency to overuse commas. I often have to preview posts/emails and end up taking out about half the commas!

 

(I've just re-read this looking for grammatical errors. Wouldn't it be oh so ironic for me to rant about grammar but make errors of my own!)

 

Edited to correct shockingly bad grammatical error! D'oh! :blush2:

Edited by bobblybear

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I really do not want to be a pain..but... should there be a comma in commas...? :hide: :I don`t think so.

Edited by itsmeagain

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I don't think we should be too hard on people, most mistakes are unconscious ones. Not everyone has the advantage of a good education and quite often it's just the way they've always heard things said.  And I'd be the last one to criticise, I'm sure I frequently make grammatical errors (ending sentences in prepositions etc) and my spelling is often questionable.

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Oh no!!! You're right, see this is what I was afraid of! Don't know what happened there! :doh:  :giggle2:

I wouldn`t worry about it. Just a typo I think..and if not..what does it matter in the end..?..not a lot. :smile:

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