Writing Tip: Could Care Less vs. Couldn’t Care Less

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Have you ever been confused about whether the correct phrase is “could care less” or “couldn’t care less?” This writing and editing tip solves the age old question.

Have you ever heard someone say that they “could care less” in an argument or just everyday conversation?  You probably have.  Hopefully you haven’t said it yourself, because you are not getting your intended point across.

“Could care less” vs. “couldn’t care less” is a popular grammar topic.  The proper phrase is one that can pop up often, so knowing which one to use is essential.  So, with that being said, which is the correct phrase?  When trying to convey the notion that something is beneath you or not worth your time, say that you “couldn’t care less.”

Saying that you “could care less” means that you actually have some care left about the topic at hand.  Saying that you “couldn’t care less” means that you have zero care in your mind concerning the topic.  Here’s an example:

Since I am single, I couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day.

Some people have actually argued that if you listen to the tone of when someone says that they “could care less” that you can tell if they are being sarcastic.  This may be true, but that phrase really isn’t correct and should be avoided, especially when writing.

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