It’s ‘Throw Open Our Office Doors To People Who Want To Discuss Things That We Could Care Less About… Day’ — Toby
I love the “Big Block of Cheese” episodes of West Wing, and The Crackpots and These Women is a great one, but that line hurt me.
These are not “things we could care less about” they are “things we could not care less about.”
Saying “I could care less about X” means “it would be possible for me to not care about X as much as I do.
What Toby is clearly trying to say is “it would be impossible for me to care less about X.”
Toby never would have made that mistake.
Someone who writes speeches for a living, who cares deeply for the English language, would not make that mistake.
(That’s almost as bad as the time that Mulder (who we are told is an Oxford educated Rhodes scholar) referred to the last book of the Christian Bible as Revelations.)
And don’t tell me “it’s an idiom, so it’s OK.” No, it’s not. Some idioms are stupid and just shouldn’t be used.
For example: there is an Ohio (midwest?) idiom “wouldn’t care to” which also drives me nuts. People say “I wouldn’t care to do X” which actually means “I wouldn’t mind doing X” or “I would be willing to do X”. Or they’ll ask you to do something by saying “If you wouldn’t care to do X”.
That one took me awhile to figure out because someone kept saying it to me in an email, which of course meant I couldn’t hear her tone of voice and kept thinking she was saying she did not want to do X when the rest of the message sounded like she would do X.
This has been your afternoon grammar/syntax rant.