diabolo wrote:Omitting the negation doesn't add anything to the idiom while it somehow shows that you don't know/understand/care about logic or the language itself (at least that's how I see it), that should be enough to piss people off.
Well, logic is irrelevant. Language is not logic and there's no reason we should expect it to behave logically. I don't get the "caring about the language" argument. English isn't dying, it's getting more speakers every day. Whether or not we care about English, nothing's going to happen to it that hasn't been happening to language for thousands of years.
diabolo wrote:I don't really see any difference between this and all the its/it's, their/there/they're, ... Is it ok for me to say "I'm board" for "I'm bored"? because, obviously, I'm not a piece of wood and it's perfectly clear what I mean.
But you just said that both "I couldn't care less" and "I could care less" are equally correct. It's not the same as "board" for "bored" at all. The former is an idiom and the latter is a spelling mistake.
If it was up to me they wouldn't be equally correct, but apparently they are, I don't like it but I'm willing to trust you and the others on this.
But then how come they indeed are? I would suspect that the original form is "I couldn't care less", and it wasn't an idiom a the time, it just meant that, and then at some point people who couldn't tell the difference between there exists
and for all
started to use "I could care less" instead to express the same idea.
If you forget you ever heard them anywhere "I couldn't care less" means that you care more about any and every other possible matter, that is, you give the absolute minimum fuck (ie. none) about the one being discussed. "I could care less" implies there exists some matters you care less about, but how many? 1? an infinity? it only rules out the minimum value and leaves the rest of the space of possibilities wide open, it just says "yeah I have an opinion on this but I'm not telling you what it is".
"I could care less" doesn't mean what it's generally intended to unless you look at it as an idiom and understand it's "I couldn't care less" with the negation dropped for whatever reason.
That's what I meant by "caring about the language" (I admit it wasn't exactly clear), if you have a bit of curiosity and stop for a second to think about it instead of just repeating the idiom (because, you know, it's interesting to know how things work), you can see that there's a non idiomatic form that is immediately obvious and differs only by a single negation, why not use that?
I'm with you on the spelling mistake in "I'm board", but my point was why couldn't it (or any other spelling mistake) become accepted as meaning something it originally doesn't, just like idioms?
I'm sure we could find a majority of people who are perfectly fine with it. Then what? It becomes magically correct, we stop being bothered by it, change our minds, and start using it exclusively (just to spite people who complain about it, as someone put it earlier in the thread)?
I agree it's not the same thing but it seems to me like it would work the same way, just rearranging letters instead of words.