Most Charioteers have at least one favourite grammatical rule, even if they’re not fully paid-up grammar tragics like Janus or me.
It’s not one of my personal bêtes noires, but I am aware that the rules governing the use of less and fewer are dear to the hearts of one or two of our company, and when the occasion arises I’m usually happy to grin, nod sagely and let them get on with it.
But I was fascinated to discover this article, which I reckon is a gem of its type. Perhaps you’ll think so too. 😎
13 thoughts on “Less or Fewer?”
A gem indeed! A tasty addition to my breakfast on this snowy morning. Thank you.
I should eat less bread.
Yes Jazz, I, too, should eat less bread – but I must also remember to eat fewer biscuits…
… I have no idea what the ‘rules’ are. I tend to using the word that ‘feels’ most comfortable.
As the Welsh would have it-
‘Beyond, leave it at that.’
Doesn’t sound very threatening does it? Go any further and you get a four generation blood feud!
I’m afraid I don’t actually care about grammar very much considering how ghastly this world has become. But I do care that there are distinctly fewer wild animals and less species than there were. Rather like counting angels on pinheads whilst the last white rhino dies. When oh when is a good non curable plague going to cull humanity?
Just been re-reading Pepys diary, the spelling is positively peripatetic but very amusing and very readable.
I always like reading the comments in papers, it is quite amazing how much one can construct from the English they use, and the errors!
Boadicea ‘Less bread and no biscuits’
Will or shall? These verbal declarations have won’t and shan’t as their Hydian non-declarations. Don’t think in speech or writing I have ever used the legend “I shan’t”, until now. It’s got a certain rudeness about it and the fewer it’s used the better. Anyway, I declare the final sentence has less weegie speak than normal. Can you spot the Indian bowler hiding in the powerful statement.
I shan’t share ma biscuits with any one.
Can and may must be contenders too.
People who do not know the difference between lose and loose.
The use of nouns as verbs, as in a film ‘launches’ or ‘debuts’. Not to mention the death of prepositions: they ‘protest’ the new law, ‘battle’ the trend. Grrrrrrrrr!
I know my pet linguistic irritant may sound a bit petty, but as the reporters on the Beeb use it all the time and as they are supposed to be journalistic professionals, it regularly makes me end up screaming at the telly. ” IT IS NOT A DISABLED TOILET, IT IS A TOILET FOR THE DISABLED” Aaaaaaargh!
jhleck – while I totally agree that adjective has been misplaced …
… might I also remark that disabled toilets are a one of my pet irritants
… just where is one to go?
And on April 1st you just prank people, allegedly. Mam mia. 😦
How about Cricket Australia or Team UK? Est que nous sommes Frogs?