A man who usually worries about such anomalies is tonight claiming that he couldn't care less about why British people tend to say "I couldn't care less", whilst their American cousins insist upon saying "I could care less" instead.
The two sentences would appear, at first glance, to suggest opposing feelings.
Indeed, they also appear to suggest opposing feelings at second and subsequent glances.
The British sentiment of "I couldn't care less", taken literally, would equate to:
I do not care at all.
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is 'caring not a jot', and 10 is 'caring as much as is possible', the phrase would indicate a score of 1, or, knowing what British people are like, possibly lower.
The US version, however, would seem, if logic had anything to do with it, to mean:
I care; perhaps not that much, but I certainly am not at that point in my attitude where my caringness has been totally exhausted. It is possible that I might not, in the future, care as much as I currently do; we'll have to wait and see.
Which is not the same thing.
The question of the two versions of, supposedly, the same thing arose at the weekend when Moys Kenwood was asked by an American Facebook 'friend' what he thought about President Trump's chances of being re-elected in November. Kenwood answered:
"I couldn't care less."
The friend, whose name is Dave, said:
"Don't you mean 'I could care less'?"
"No, I don't. I mean I couldn't care less."
The two are no longer 'friends'.