Posted by R. Berg on September 22, 2005
In Reply to: You can't be too careful posted by Grace on September 21, 2005
: I wanted to know what is meant by the sentence "You can't be too careful here" and "I couldn't care less". As long as I think on this sentence (the former), I come up with different meanings-hidden,obvious and what not. Any enlightened soul, please HELPPP!!
"You can't be too careful" is literal and straightforward. It means that no degree of care is too much, because the need for care is great. It's impossible to be TOO careful - that is, more careful than suits the circumstances.
The sentence seems backward or subtle only because "can't . . . too (something)" is used in a different way - indeed, the opposite way - in sentences like "You can't miss too many deadlines, or you'll get fired."