The West Wing

Manchester: Part I - S3-E2

Continuity mistake: Pres. Bartlet is at his farm in New Hampshire, talking to Leo. In one shot he has an arm on the rail fence and the other hand on his hip. The next shot shows him with both arms on the rail fence even though he had no time to shift position. (00:41:25)

Manchester: Part I - S3-E2

Continuity mistake: Donna and the gang are in a restaurant/bar in New Hampshire and she has her hand up by her head as she eats. As Josh asks "are you eating the rest of the sandwich?" her hand is suddenly at her mouth. (00:32:10)

Pilot - S1-E1

Laurie: Tell your friend POTUS he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle.
Sam Seaborn: I would, but he's not my friend, he's my boss. And it's not his name, it's his title.
Laurie: POTUS?
Sam Seaborn: President of the United States.

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In Excelsis Deo - S1-E10

Question: This is as good a place to ask as any. In various US TV shows (including this one, and this episode), someone says "I could care less", when they always seem to mean "I couldn't care less", ie. they have no interest in what's going on. Surely if they COULD care less that means they actually care a reasonable amount? Is there any logic to this, or is it just a really annoying innate lack of sense?

Jon Sandys Premium member

Chosen answer: A really annoying innate lack of sense. My friends and family say the same thing all the time, and I'm endlessly trying to correct them. I think people just don't know any better and (ironically) couldn't care less that they're speaking incorrectly.

Answer: It's an endlessly annoying dropped negative, and it's been a common colloquialism for far too long. I believe it comes from an original (and now omitted and merely implied) "As if" preceding the statement. "As if I could care less." (Meaning "As if it were possible that I could care even less than I do.") But there's really no way to know.

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