While omitting the “not” from the target phrase might be excused in conversation as a slip of the tongue, the same offense committed on the printed page is inexcusable and should be cause for a public flogging.

If the subtle distinction between the improper and proper forms of the phrase are too much for your feeble mind to handle, allow me to offer up some simple alternatives:- “To hell with that.”

  • “I don’t give a damn.”
  • “Puhleeze…”
  • “Whatever…”
  • “It doesn’t matter to me.” Those of you watching closely may notice how closely that resembles the troublesome twosome mentioned above. However, for reasons completely beyond me, I’ve never heard anyone misuse the “doesn’t matter” form of the phrase. Well, other than swapping “don’t” for “doesn’t,” obviously, which fails to change the overall meaning, but certainly fails most grammar tests. Please, folks. Let’s get this right. We’ve harnessed the atom. We’ve walked on the moon. We’ve cloned sheep. We’ve synthesized food colorings in our laboratories that have no analogs in the natural world. Let’s not look like shambling, mumbling mounds of water, carbon, iron, and trace elements just because we cannot remember to include a three letter adverb in a commonly used phrase.

Let’s look sharp out there. And no, I could not care less if you’re a prime offender of the nature described above and you were offended by the words in the space.