Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
#94860 02/07/03 12:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 161
V
vika Offline OP
member
OP Offline
member
V
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 161
from todays AWAD letter:

"The sorts of people who feel that special blend of
wincing despair and sneering superiority when they see EXPRESS LANE - 10 ITEMS OR LESS..."

well, I think you are this special people so can you explain why do you feel despair seeing the sign? what's wrong with "10 or less"?


#94861 02/07/03 12:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
B
old hand
Offline
old hand
B
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
The grammar gurus would tell you that "less" is reserved for things you can't enumerate, like "sugar" or "sand" or "wind", and you should use "fewer" if you can reasonably count the things you're talking about. Since a number is given expressly (10), it really should be "10 items or fewer" but most people don't worry too much about that distinction. I get the feeling that by "popular vote" this particular rule will eventually fade away.


Edit: Should I have used "less" or "fewer" quotation marks in the above post?

#94862 02/07/03 01:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
The grammar gurus

I doubt that any of these grammar gurus can tell you why we would need two words for comparison of countable (fewer) and measurable (less) quantities if the one being spoken of is of a smaller value than the other but manage to scrape by quite well with only one if the one is of a greater value (more).


#94863 02/07/03 01:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
B
old hand
Offline
old hand
B
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
manage to scrape by quite well with only one if the one is of a greater value (more).

Yes, after I posted that, I pondered that problem, too. But I'd already self-replied once today so I thought I'd let it go.


#94864 02/07/03 02:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 320
S
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
S
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 320
It's one of those distinctions I just have to shrug off. Ten items or less doesn't bother me, but I'd have a problem with "The guy in front of me has less items than I do." But still, more is always more.


#94865 02/07/03 05:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
But still, more is always more.

... unless you're Mies van der Rohe.


#94866 02/07/03 07:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 320
S
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
S
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 320
Touché, already.


#94867 02/07/03 07:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 320
S
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
S
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 320
Touché already.


#94868 02/07/03 07:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
Somebody hadda say it, slithy.


#94869 02/09/03 05:05 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 618
D
addict
Offline
addict
D
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 618
...only one if the one is of a greater value (more).

Surely there's manyer than that.


Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Moderated by  Jackie 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,904
Posts227,970
Members9,146
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
rexdee, gypsydancer, Astrostu, Chaske, ApophaticAxiom
9,146 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
2 members (A C Bowden, wofahulicodoc), 111 guests, and 4 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,542
LukeJavan8 9,797
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2021 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5
(Release build 20201027)
Responsive Width:

PHP: 7.4.24 Page Time: 0.017s Queries: 34 (0.006s) Memory: 2.9357 MB (Peak: 3.2483 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2021-10-19 06:00:34 UTC
Valid HTML 5 and Valid CSS