David Mitchell couldn't care less if you could care less
By - brutalgash
There's a song by Devil Driver called "I Could Care Less". As a British child it confused the hell out of me, as the song seemed to insist the opposite to its namesake.
DevilDriver is my favourite band and I don't listen to that song for this reason. Petty, I know.
Devildriver had one of the worse live performances I ever saw. Dez was singing the wrong lyrics to songs and sounded like he was high enough to be on the moon. It was weird as shit as hell's angles showed up during their set and took over the VIP section and mosh pit, we just left after that. No one wanted to touch those beastmen.
I've seen them twice and have zero complaints. Life is funny.
>It was weird as shit as hell's angles showed up during their set and took over the VIP section and mosh pit, we just left after that. No one wanted to touch those beastmen.
Makes sense, I hear they're incredibly obtuse.
I love DevilDriver and that's a great song, but that always bugged me.
DevilDriver did a great cover of [Sail](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=torc9P4-k5A) though, so I'll forgive them.
If we could harness his angry logic as a power source, we'll never have to worry about anything ever again.
British people being mildly angry at American English is one of the greatest sources of natural energy second only to our sun.
British people, yes. But David Mitchell should have the added bonus of his posh and repressed (or repressed and posh) character, with a degree of slightly awkward nerdiness.
David's Angry Logic, when he gets truly going, could cause the universe to stop expanding.
I do love that you included reference to Rob Brydon's joke haha.
"I'll never claim to have your range as an actor, David. 'Shall I do posh or repressed, or repressed and posh?'"
These comments are like a word jumble of YouTube algorithm titles.
Or the ramblings of a sleep-deprived Mitchell-aholic.
His rant on tax evasion as a tax on being an ethical person could be powered the nation for a week.
Nice wilty reference
Herbs...nothing more infuriating than say "erbs".
Enraged and baffled of Lower Midswallop
HOW IS IT A SILENT H THO
‘Az ‘e wa’z saying on ze video,..when did we become a French
If David Mitchell's angry logic was a power source we Gould go past the speed of light
The Goa'uld have stargates, they don't need FTL that much
He’s right you know. When people say “I could care less,” I’m going to start replying with “then do.”
I think whats occurred here is people use the phrase "As if I could care less" but then some other dolts have come along and used the term shortened.
That's the first plausible explanation I've heard!
I thought, "I could not care less" got turned into "I couldn't care less" then the contraction was lost. This one feels to fit better.
Or if you're a fan of occam's razor then people just didn't hear the "n't" when talking fast and thought they were saying 'could'
A word ending on four consonants has a way of being gobbled up in common language. Similar to "could of" instead of "could have" or "could've".
Since you mentioned it, I have a theory: the use of speech-to-text is the problem. “Couldn’t’ve” is literally impossible to transcribe correctly when spoken quickly like most people do. That, combined with the laziness of your run-of-the-mill texting person (Who has never once edited a text) and you get “could of“.
The phrase was discussed in a Reddit post at least 10 years ago and I wish I could have saved it, because there was a person commenting down–thread who went off for hours about how “could of“ was actually correct, and not just in a “this is now how people say it“ way. Still chafes. Don’t get me started on “champing at the bit“.
Idiots who can't remember a simple phrase and didn't bother to analyse what they were saying wasn't a plausible explanation to you?
That's all you need to say
I've never heard someone say "as if I could care less". That's a pretty awkward phrase, I don't think its very common, at least in the US
I think it's far more likely that people repeated "I couldn't care less" so many times that they stopped thinking about the individual words as closely. Like those people who don't fully comprehend what "miles per hour" means.
I think this is likely. I mean look at the number of people who write "could of" because that's what it sounds like - it doesn't stand up to any scrutiny if you actually think about it, it doesn't make sense.
I kind have understand what your saying hear.
I'll of what he's ofing.
Won't anyone think've the children??
Yes, have course.
> those people who don't fully comprehend what "miles per hour" means.
Who.... who are these people? And what do they think it means?
If you search around you can find plenty of video of this.
Basically, you can ask them something like "if I'm traveling at 70mph, how far will I travel in an hour?", and they just stall and cant figure it out. They usually try some complicated math gymnastics or something to come up with an answer.
They just never really thought about what "miles per hour" actually means. To them, it's just a unit that means "speed" and nothing else.
As a Texan, I reply to "Howdy" with "good, and you?" and people just stare at me like I'm a moron. It's like they don't understand Howdy is short for How do you do
English is my third language. The first thing our english teacher taught us, was that the only proper response to "How do you do?" is "How do you do?", even though it sounds like you're asking about their well-being...
I'm not Texan, I've never even been to America and even I know the correct response is "Howdy partner". Maybe even throw in a "YEEEEEEHAAAAAAWWWW". And if it's a formal situation it's good Texan etiquette to conclude any encounter by throwing your lasso around each other and simultaneously declaring the phrase "Remember the Alamo!".
Thanks, now explain why "head over heels" is anything other than normal.
The same idiots who heard other people saying "literally", decided they liked how it *spiced up their exaggerations*, and then proceeded to use it for exactly the opposite meaning, ruining literally the *only* word that meant what literally was used for.
That's like deciding the word claustrophobic means "loving tight spaces". "Man, I was getting all claustrophobic in here, it was great!" said the man without claustrophobia.
Those literal fucking idiots.
This literally makes my blood boil. So many people misuse it that it has lost all meaning. I literally never know if someone means it literally when they say literally.
The use of “literally” as an intensifier in figurative language in published English writing dates back at *minimum* to the 1760s. It has been a commonly understood usage for more than half the history of modern English. The pedantry is a vastly more recent invention.
Strangely those lodging these high minded prescriptivist protests have never had complaints about the *other* words with the same dual usage of both intensifier and separation of reality from rhetoric, e.g. “really” and “clearly”.
You realize that has happened with every word that means something is real, right? It’s called hyperbole, dog.
What baffles me is people who actually defend it and think it's correct by saying something like it's short for "I could care less, but I'd have to try!", just desperately trying to find some plausible reason why it isn't wrong.
Symmetrical book stacking. Just like the Philadelphia mass turbulence of 1947.
Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!
How much less could you care?
I've already cared enough to make the comment. It's only a theoretical lower level of caring.
Gosh I wish Soapbox would come back
Last time this was posted I think it was revealed that he doesn't own the rights?
He doesn't own the rights to him, completely on his own, monologuing about stuff which annoys him, in a completely virtual set?
I can see about how someone could own "Soapbox" as a named tv show, but surely he could call it something different.
He didn't write it on his own.
it was the best.
It was pure David Mitchell, what more could you want?
Also written by John Finnemore though. I can imagine that lots of people don't know about him but he's been doing superb radio comedy for a long time now.
just like "could of"
it's "could've", short for "could have"
but I understand their confusion
People sleep on the “have” contractions and and it makes me so sad. “Shouldn’t’ve” is fun to say and write, it barely looks English. ~~Four~~ Five consonants in a row! I love it.
^(Edit: I can't count)
The money she had had, had had no effect on her life, 4 hads!
I am absolutely with the Queen on this one. I think anyone using the phrase "I could care less" should be caned.
I think most Americans agree with this. Getting it wrong is uniquely American, at the same time that getting it right is popular with Americans.
As a non native speaker this had confused me a lot over the years. To me the sentences have read as follows:
"I could care less." = I really do care about the subject, hence there is plenty from to care less.
"I couldn't care less." = Zero interest, at the minimum level of caring.
This had lead to few clashes where somebody said the first and I went in my head "Oh, he actually wants to hear more about the topic." and as I continue to talk more he goes "Would you STFU already! I told you I'm not interested.". In confusion I've said "But you said you could care less." and response was "Exactly!".
At that point I've just dropped the subject and wondered WTF happened because he clearly is saying the opposite of what he means. ¯\\\_(ツ)_/¯
> This had lead to few clashes where somebody said the first and I went in my head "Oh, he actually wants to hear more about the topic." and as I continue to talk more he goes "Would you STFU already! I told you I'm not interested.". In confusion I've said "But you said you could care less." and response was "Exactly!".
Sounds like you need to stop talking to cunts.. :D
This is what's great when native English speakers think that not being clear is fine.... it's not. The point is missed. And those who speak English as a second language are just expected to know.
There are confusing aspects of many languages that are not immediately obvious if you aren't a native speaker of the language. This isn't some epidemic of English speakers not caring if they're understood or not.
It's just what we get for being native in the global language. No other language has as many non-native speakers as English so naturally we're going to get the most criticism from non-native speakers.
Seriously, ask someone learning Mexican Spanish about the nuanced implications of ahora vs. ahorita vs. ahora mismo. They can have meanings that aren't at all what they literally mean.
Not even amongst ourselves can we understand exactly what those mean, we always require the other person to confirm what they actually mean when they use any of those. Using those with non-natives is just lack of self-awareness or straight up trying to take advantage of the person.
Another one which I think you share is 'Do you mind?' where, if I *don't* mind, I have to answer in a positive way, like 'Sure'.
So confusing in the moment.
I've said no, because I *didn't* mind, and created awkward situations that way.
That question almost always requires a clarifying response. A simple 'yes' or 'no' has the potential to confuse in either case. You almost always have to answer "Yes, I mind", "No, I don't", "No, go ahead" or something along those lines.
Americans hold DOWN the fort because of tornadoes and hurricanes.
I always assumed it came from American camping culture where tents needed to be held down lest they get blown away
What an excellent excuse for it! It's not the reason but it's a great justification.
Edit: crappy fort though
TIL English people don’t have tents...
English have tents. It’s tornadoes they lack.
The UK has the most tornadoes per square mile of any place on Earth
~~... which is a half-remembered bit of trivia I will now double check~~ Checked - it's true!
Shh I live in tornado alley and we love to have one interesting thing so we deny this stat even though ours are way more deveststing haha
That's not hard to do when you call any whirly puff of wind a tornado. In the US they don't get that distinction unless they're tearing shingles off the roof at a minimum.
We do have normal wind though. And normal wind will lift a tent quite happily.
It is true that the americans invented tents and no english person has ever used a tent. Also that tent is a synonym for fort
Love the fort they host the Great British Bake Off in
England, part of a small island off the Atlantic, is famously not windy
Checkmate David Mitchell.
**Check your mate down* David Mitchell.
I'm not American and I think holding down a fort is totally fine no matter the reasoning behind it. Just like me saying I'm down and I'm up for something both mean I'm willing to do something. Holding down a fort and holding a fort mean the same thing to me.
Yeah this one is not that weird. You might "hunker down" while you're holding the fort.
That's why I got fat, can't go getting carried away by a tornado
I kinda thought "hold down the fort" was like keep sieging the fort. Like keep it suppressed so it's defenders don't sally forth.
That doesn't really make sense with its figurative usage though, which is to watch and make sure nothing bad happens.
Also EX-cetera instead of et cetera. Drives me up the wall
And by extension, those who use ect instead of etc.
Also EX-pecially instead of especially. Drives me up the wall.
Expecially when I’m on expresso, those espressions, ex cetera, drive me mad. Libary.
[Dont say that to David Mitchell](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmVnr7rsWrE)
I have never once heard that. And I never want to. Ew.
Heard what? Can you be more pacific?
People driving up walls drives me up the wall.
So you're a car then, eh?
I absolutely can't stand the phrase 'grinds my gears'. I guess it really grinds my gears.
[David Mitchell has something to say](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4hvh5e8-nw) about that as well.
Love that they misspelled the title of the video lol.
why, did you have too many expressos?
Expresso is a good name for a coffee shop at a railway station.
Well, to be fair, "expresso" is a problem for an Italian monarch, not the English queen.
Well, you could be referring to the portuguese way of spelling "espresso", if you want to be pedantinc.
hello one expresso please
Someone on the internet very politely got me on something close to that. I was saying etc AND so on an so forth. That sort of thing. They were real nice about pointing to how i'm basically saying the same thing twice, the same thing twice. Not everybody on the internet is a bag of dung. :P
Technically, aren't you saying the same thing *thrice?*
* Et cetera
* And so on
* And so forth
There's no ex cetera
Once a cetera, always a cetera
I could see David Mitchell making a video like this that was over 4 hours long
And I would watch the entire thing
He’d really hate Ricky.
I utilize Ricky isms as frequently as possible. Just in regular conversations.
Worst case Ontario
Its not rocket appliances
I fucking atoda so
I don't know why...but I really enjoy the idea of someone hearing me and questioning their sanity
All just water under the fridge
I’ve never watched this show. I thought they were funny but what *really* got me was “I guess this is smarter than me, but it’s got a battery.”
My favourite Rickyism is "it's just water under the fridge".
Edit: wow I messed up a Rickyism, that's a new low for me
Title is misleading, he obviously cares at least a little.
He DOES say as much at the end of the video.
My very uneducated guess is that "hold the fort" might have mixed a bit with another expression, "batten down the hatches", which has a similar sort of meaning to it.
This guy is amusing, and right of course.
If you haven’t seen David Mitchell before then you definite you need to check out Peep Show, That Mitchell And Webb Look, and/or Would I Lie To You.
Peep Show is incredible, probably one of the best comedies ever made.
Yeah. 100%. It’s one of the only things that will make my overly serious depressed ass laugh out loud until I struggle to breath. The one where they burn up the dog. Omg.
Although, I laughed at that one, I just can't rewatch it. The cringe level is too much for my brain to handle.
Naughty slutty mummy!
I just finished showing my girlfriend the entire series and I love to fuck with her and exclaim "MUMMYYYYY!!!" at random moments
Mummy! Coffee! Fucky-Hurry-Uppy!
The river boat episode is the best episode of the series. And Super Hans is the greatest sitcom character.
He's also great whenever he's on QI
From the Would I Lie To You on his clothing style.
He's all over British TV
My favourite rant of his is the one about [poor customer service.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvqIxjRrmgs) There's no way the waiter at the restaurant or the cashier at the supermarket is actually so happy to see you that it makes them smile. They're clearly either a liar or a moron.
This sort of thing used to bother me. Then I realized that I could care less.
I could care more.
So you care about it somewhat? :P
They did before, but who knows? Maybe they can no longer care any less.
Yes. From context I feel like they *did* care and then got lazy about it.
Yea exactly, they DID care about it, thus they could care less
No he's realised he could care less and has bottomed out on caring.
I'd say given the content of this video, that David in fact could care less if you could care less.
This came out 4 years before Weird Al Yankovic's "Word Crimes". I checked so you don't have to.
As a Brit my pet peeve is hearing "on accident" instead of "by accident".
"I did it on accident" makes no grammatical sense.
should have done it by purpose
That is one my mother corrected in all of us kids at a very early age.
Prepositions, man. There's hardly any objective reason to one over another', but when someone uses a different one than we're used to, it sounds awful.
'I get *in* a car but *on* a bus or a plane. *On*?? I'm not getting *on* a damn plane.
'Sometimes "on" or "in" and others have specific meanings, and sometimes they're just linkage words. That's when they getcha.
"get on" works with public transportation, the idea being that something is carrying you somewhere (like a wagon or boat, I guess) with lots of people who "get on" and "get off" at different stops etc.
"get in" works with a vehicle that is an enclosed space
so you can say "get in" or "get on" a plane, because it's both. but you don't "get on" a car or taxi, because it's not really public transportation in the sense described above
Anyway, I'm probably wrong, but it's how I make sense of it.
True, but you and I (I'm Irish) would do something "on purpose" which makes as much grammatical sense.
Prepositions often only make sense because we've decided they're the right one.
This isn’t an American vs Britain thing – it’s an idiot vs C+ student thing.
It won't differentiate an idiot or not, in fact it may be indicative of [Jespersen's Cycle](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jespersen%27s_Cycle) where negations may be dropped due to a natural linguistic process.
Slate has a great article *[In Defense of I Could Care Less](https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/03/why-i-could-care-less-is-not-as-irrational-or-ungrammatical-as-you-might-think.html)*, explaining that it may be sarcasm, a longer phrase being shortened over time, or (as mentioned) dropping a negation.
Hope this doesn't come off as pretentious, but I imagine you'd have a much better time exploring this than just dismissing it as "wrong" or "used by idiots." AAVE gets a lot of slack for similar reasons but linguistics is so awesome because it explains all of this intuitively and can help us understand each other a bit better.
If you prefer comedy legend John Cleese making this point in very low quality, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpVpIaC6QrM
I said "I could care less" to my cousin one time when I was like 13 and later he said it back and when I heard him say it I knew it sounded wrong and added the "n't" from that day forward
I could care fewer.
God I love him
Average number of languages spoken:
I wish he still did these.
I once pointed out to my uncle that he says this. I only mentioned it once, and didn't make a big deal about it at all. But he still corrects himself every time he says it to this day. It's been 11 years. He also doesn't say it any less often.
OP’s title suggests that David couldn’t care less about the semantic argument his is making. However, he clearly cares quite a bit. So it should read, “David Mitchell could care less if you couldn’t care less.”
As a dual Brit-American, I totally agree with his points. However, it's always the educated and articulate Brits that point these things out. We (Americans) never get these lectures from the majority of my fellow Brits, who are as dumb as a box of rocks, and say things like "escaped goat".
I've never in my life heard someone here say "escaped goat".
Don't be a damp squid.
Oh, ANOTHER IT Crowd reference?! You guys are putting that show on a pedal-stool!
TIL I'm an educated and articulated Brit.
You are right that a lot of brits are dumb, but also why would a dumbass ever give you a lecture on grammar or the general use of the English language?
Your a idiot.
Your and idiot
I would agree but I'm a bowl in a China shop. So I don't usually make a noise.
I mean it's not correct modern English, but "scape" in scapegoat is just a shortening of "escape".
Now do loose/lose!
Then/than may be one of my biggest complaints. In part because I have a friend who is otherwise well articulated and intelligent, but he has completely inverted their meaning. "I'd rather do x then y," he'll say, implying that there's an order in which he'd prefer to do x **and** y, rather than his preference for x *instead of* y.
And lay/lie while we're at it...
Wait what do they call side walks? Also the boot?
Pavement. The "boot" of the car is what Americans would call the trunk. In the UK we have car boot sales, where everyone drives to a cold field in the morning and literally sell stuff out of the boot.
Do you use "foot path" at all?
Yes but a footpath usually isn't attached to a road, I think you guys would call it a "trail" through the woods or across a field or something.
I've seen both, but footpath generally feels just a little more formal and more likely to end up on a caution sign. "Poison Ivy ahead. Please stay on the footpath." rather than "Please stay on the trail." Although that might be because hearing trail sounds more like a dirt path marked primarily by heavy foot traffic killing the grass, and a footpath feels more like something marked with signs and stepping stones.
It's funny you say that because in Australia we say footpath for pavement /sidewalk
During Halloween over here in the states, some places in the south have a safe of treat or treating called “Trunk or Treat”, where families have their cars in a circle and let kids pick out candy out of their trunks. It’s for kids that live lowly populated areas that don’t have a neighborhood to walk around in.
We walk at the side of the road on the "pavement". And yes, we call "the trunk", "the boot" - don't ask me why.
...is to be believed:
'In the case of the English "boot", the origin is that in the 18th and 19th centuries, the coachman used to sit on a locker where he could store, among other things, his boots. For this reason, this was termed the "boot locker" and after a while an additional compartment situated at the rear of the coach was used, also called for the same reason the "boot" (for short).'
There's another [argument](http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-boo5.htm) that the boot refers to a type of side-saddle seating for servants etc. that had an enclosure you'd put your feet in so that the wheels didn't kick mud up onto your boots.
That shelf was originally called the boot, and those enclosures were used as storage when you didn't have passengers. Eventually that storage space migrated to the back of the carriage, and the term stuck going forward.
That's in contrast to the US, where a trunk was originally literally a trunk that you strapped into the back of your carriage/early car.
It's one of my favorite [xkcd](https://xkcd.com/1576/)
Not sure if you're supposed to identify with the person on the right or not. It reads like a rather verbose and condescending way to tell someone that they can do no wrong cause reasons.
It's an intentionally verbose and condescending way to tell someone that they're being a prick to make pointless "corrections" to other people's speech that everyone already understands.
I think this underestimates the amount of confusion people in Britain (for example) experience the first time they hear someone (most likely an American on TV) say "I could care less."
I always saw "hold down the fort" as a slight dig. That by not coming along you are functioning as dead weight.
This was fitting as I usually was opting out of something meaningful, and was looking forward to just sitting around alone, relaxing.