Returning nothing of value.

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Public service announcement
Note: usually, what you want to say is "I could NOT care less". If you say "I could care less", this lacks the impact you desire, unless you state specifically to what degree your level of caring could decrease from its current value.

For example: "I could care less, possibly, but the amount would be measurable only on the Planck scal...e." That works handily, and has the advantage of also being amusing.

This has been a PSA from the Youth Outreach Undertaken to Improve Delivery of Insulting and Obnoxious Tropes (YOUIDIOT).
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I wrote an English paper once where I used the construction "could not care less," and the instructor marked me down for the "not" because "'Not' is not part of this idiom." I must say, I was more than a wee bit annoyed.

Yeah, I hate it when instructors mark you down for doing something correct.

I once had an English teacher who marked me down for using parenthetical statements. This was not because they were grammatically or syntactically incorrect, nor were they semantically wrong; she just hated parentheticals, since she felt that they indicated the text shouldn't be in the sentence in the first place.

The teacher in question must have been one of those dried up old sticks who felt that written English should in no way shape or form be structured at all like spoken English. I have had several teachers tell me over the years that the two are in fact different languages. :)

Well, technically, they are. I've caught myself saying a lot of things that sound correct in spoken English but as soon as I try writing them, they lose all meaning. I can't think of a better example right now, but I might say "J'eet?", which makes no sense at all when written, but I'm really saying "Did you eat?" However, there are some things in written English that make no sense in spoken English, so it goes both ways. And I see "not uncommon" or other (acceptable) double negatives in books, and it looks so awkward; they should really just write "frequently", but I guess "not uncommon" sounds more fancypants.

I could care less if I tried, but it would be more effort than I'm willing to put into something I don't care about.

The entire phrase should be thrown out of the English language altogether (or is that all together? I never remember what the appropriate version is). It's cumbersome, no one really knows what they're saying when they use it, and there's probably not a single non-native English speaker on the planet who could translate it correctly into another language. It's as bad as saying "Do you mind?" and expecting an answer. On my own front, I've managed to only use the word "regardless" and ignore "irregardless" completely at least. (Oh, and I've noticed it's really easy to fall into the trap of saying "at least" when you really mean "at most", but "at most" is so uncommon that it sounds awkward even if it's correct in some cases.)

"Irregardless" is not a word, though.

Well, *I* know that, and *you* know that, but apparently a lot of dictionaries and 95% of native English speakers don't know that. ;)

How about "I could care less," meaning, "I could care less but it would require exerting real effort to reach that low a level of caring, so I guess actually I could NOT care less after all, at least for practical purposes."

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