The West Wing

Twenty Five - S4-E23

Other mistake: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Fitzwallace tells Bartlet that he wants to attack targets in Qumar. The first he mentions is "the Bahji C3I" which he explains is "Communications, Command, Control and Intelligence." The explanation shows the actor John Amos flubbed his line and should have said "the Bahji 3CI", as in "C.C.C.I" or "Triple-C I." This is common governmental and military abbreviation jargon, much as the show often uses "D-triple-C" to mean the D.C.C.C. (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee). (00:16:50)

johnrosa

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Suggested correction: C3I is similar to C2, pronounced "C two" and commonly used in military to refer to command and control.

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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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