Sunday, 7 October 2007
I'm not going to have an anti-American rant. I realise that the US is poorly represented in the world grammar league (how I wish that existed) due to the misfortune of having a leader who seems to have missed out on his natural calling of becoming a P.E. teacher.
In fact despite the unnecessary alterations to our spelling and their propensity to "verb" words, most Americans I've met have been very well spoken. One could argue that this is because most of those Americans were met in countries other than the US so I've met a cross-section of the few who actually own a passport
–but let's not split hairs. There is one Americanism that drives me absolutely potty (actually there are a few but I promised not to have a rant).
I could care less.How can an entire nation not realise that the above phrase means you do care?
I can't remember which TV programme I was watching when I first became aware of this phrase but I assumed it was a slip, that the speaker had meant to say, "I couldn't care less." But no, I keep on hearing it and every time it makes me twitch involuntarily with rage. I wouldn't mind so much if I only heard it used by guests on 'Springer' and MTV morons like Ashton Kutcher but in the past I've heard it used by Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Moore, Larry David and more. These are clever people!
It came as a relief, therefore, when I found this neat little diagram on Flickr.
Well done Meredith G, GrammarBlog salutes you. Now all you have to do is spread that message to the other 214,999,999 English speakers in the US. Good Luck.
**Update: Meredith has got in touch to say she found the diagram at Incompitech. How very honest and gracious of you, Meredith, others might have been tempted to ninja the glory for themselves (and yes, I know I've used a verbed word after complaining about it in the post).
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