Tag: less

October 6, 2014

New Post on Visual Thesaurus: Less Usage Problems

I have a new post on Visual Thesaurus, and this one’s open to non-subscribers: The distinction between less and fewer is one of the most popular rules in the peevers’ arsenal. It’s a staple of lists of grammar rules that everyone supposedly gets wrong, and sticklers have pressured stores into changing their signs from “10 […]

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Usage, Words 0 Replies to “New Post on Visual Thesaurus: Less Usage Problems”
December 23, 2008

Less and Fewer

I know this topic has been addressed in detail elsewhere (see goofy’s post here, for example), but a friend recently asked me about it, so I thought I’d take a crack at it. It’s fairly straightforward: there are the complex, implicit rules that people have been following for over a thousand years, and then there […]

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Usage, Words 13 Replies to “Less and Fewer
October 7, 2007

One Fewer Usage Error

In my mind, less and fewer illustrates quite well virtually all of the problems of prescriptivism: the codification of the opinion of some eighteenth-century writer, the disregard for well over a millennium of usage, the insistence on the utility in a superfluous distinction, and the oversimplification of the original rule leading to hypercorrection. I found […]

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Usage, Words 4 Replies to “One Fewer Usage Error”
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