Today’s grammar f*ck-up is priceless. “I really could careless” was seen in a meme with a longer message. Really? There’s always someone around f*cking up grammar. It’s not always a big deal. We’re not all grammarians and I mess up on occasion as well. But when I see it in books, on business websites, in schools, or in other places where more attention should be given to proper English, I cringe.
This one wasn't in a place like mentioned above. But just in case someone else happens to f*ck up in the same way (in a place where it might matter more), here's how to fix it. Where I saw “I really could careless,” the complete message itself would have been a good one, had the person taken care to actually word it so that it made sense. But, just about everything is wrong with this particular phrase.
First of all, saying you COULD care less implies that you do care, not that you don’t. Could and couldn’t mean exactly the opposite of each other. What the person was trying to get across is that they don’t care at all and it’s impossible to care less. Therefore, the correct wording should have been “I really couldn’t care less.”
This brings us to the second point. It’s not careless. It’s care less. There is a big difference. This sentence makes sense (though is not giving out the intended message): “I really could be careless.” This sentence makes sense (though again implies a message different than intended): “I really could care less.” The original wording does not make sense. Careless is not a verb. It’s an adjective. There should be a verb in there to take some action, such as caring about something. The verb is care – by itself. How much do you care? You care less. Therefore, the correct wording is “care less,” not “careless.”
While the meanings of care less and careless are similar, they are not the same grammatically and cannot be used in place of each other. Could and could not are the exact opposites of each other. So there you have the grammar f*ck-up the day, people. It’s "I really couldn’t care less," not "I really could careless."
Even my simple grammar checker highlighted that sentence when I typed it in a document, by the way. Always check your work yourself and with tools before you put it somewhere for all to see. It will save you the embarrassment later. You’re welcome.
Image: memecreator.org and Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)