Interesting question … I received this message from a fellow Twitterer:
Here’s one for your blog. Saw this tweet today.”Could care less about Susan Boyle. It’s cool that she can sing….but could still care less”
Mary James / Yelwrose
Great timing because I have been having a discussion recently with a friend about the use of “I could care less” vs. “I couldn’t care less.” We did a lot of research on this question in the past month … See: Daily Writing Tips: http://tinyurl.com/dapdxw, World Wide Words: http://tinyurl.com/dv5f5, and Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/cxfw5t, for starters …
Personally, we prefer the non-ambiguous version of this expression “I couldn’t care less!”
However, there are those who, on purpose, use the sarcastic slang version “I could care less!” to express their disinterest. We suggest that these users put themselves in peril of being relegated to a lower class of linguists.
Grammar Police would love to ticket those who choose the latter, however, this is one case in which we have chosen to place aside our personal preferences and prejudices and let these would-be violators loose. Actually, we could care less, but not much!