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In Tesco today, "10 Items Or Less"
'less' sounds a bit like breasts, doesnt it?
I find the idea of a checkout line for "10 items or breasts" so amusing. I really don't.
but i like it
had this dude
The more publicity this gets, the better
you'll find that's said 'pronunciation'
but i'm never sure why
everyone uses 'less'. language is organic, blah blah.
But its misuse can cause it to shrink rather than grow, and that is not a good thing. It also means we lose distinctions which make our language more expressive. I'm only in favour of language being organic some of the time.
Fewer should be used with things that can be counted.
there's more than 237 different words for 'heroin'.
'fewer' isn't pulling its weight.
Use 'practise' when it's a verb. How hard is it?
The language will take good care of itself. You know exactly what it means, so why make a big fuss out of it?
I like it when people get it wrong so I can correct them.
with every thing like this that is allowed to happen
Since when was "fewer" in this particular circumstance a golden rule?
Who dictates when it should be used and why?
Why can't it be "less"?
There is no logical argument for any of these questions besides "It's right, the other use is wrong", trust me. It's a completely useless and outdated way of thinking about language use.
Unless we have prescribed rules for lanugage use, then all language becomes meaningless. Your argument is ridiculous.
Why does "think" mean "think", why can't "elephant" mean think? Etc etc, all the way through the dictionary.
so you think language has a logical structure that comes PRIOR to use?
i'm not sure i'd agree with that.
besides, i dont think that's really relevant to whether a 'fewer' should be used instead of 'less'....
Language shouldn't be ALLOWED to become more limited than it is. Much of the wonder of English is its massive diversity in expressing things very precisely and colourfully. If we stop using the word "fewer" then we lose a part of that.
I'm not really sure what you mean about language having a logical structure prior to use. Sorry!
potential is lost if we were to jettison the word 'fewer'? Surely in this context it's pretty clear they're talking about a quantity of objects rather than an amount of a substance?
Language is just becoming more economical here. Maybe I take your point, but not sure it's a good example.
you wont be happy til were all talking like shakespeare again, move with the times people, its all bout tx spk
"Less" makes sense in this circumstance. As does the use of the word "fewer". Both of them are fine, as far as I'm concerned.
Of course we have prescribed rules for language use. The argument for why "Think" can't mean "elephant" is a bit much, isn't it? The two words have nothing to do with each other. They don't express a similar notion. "Fewer"and "Less" do. In fact, the notion they express is pretty much identical. If you ask pretty much anyone what they mean, they'll say that they mean the same thing, so people will use them to mean the same thing, and there's no reason why they shouldn't. It's not that hard to get your head around is it?
and the potential to differentiate subtle meaning ought to be lost. The difference in meaning can be key in some contexts.
And the notion they express is not identical, hence there being two separate words.
That's before going into sytlistic issues...
but other things like your/you're mix ups etc are horrible, they are not frowned upon by enough people any more
"less pretty ladies" and "fewer pretty ladies" have entirely different meanings!
quite often when you use two adjectives though.
some people would use a comma to show which meaning they meant.
"less [pause] pretty ladies" EUGH!
there IS a pause either after the less, or after the pretty. depending on your meaning.
(i wouldnt use a comma either, i dont like them there. i'd probaly try to phrase whatever i was saying differently)
i never learned how to do that funny writing people who do linguistics can do.
but they definitely sound different.
say them in your head. dont they sound different to you?
less pretty ladies. less pretty ladies.
And of course confusion could be avoided SIMPLY BY USING FEWER
i think there is much unnecessary duplication in the english language. and we'd be better off with less words.
whats the difference?
"less pretty ladies" would imply that the pretty ladies are not as pretty as another group of pretty ladies.
"fewer pretty ladies" would mean that there were a smaller number of pretty ladies in a group than in another group.
Confusing the two could potentially cause offence.
there is now a shop, can't recall the name, with the byline "For all the worlds' children, and the child in us all"
That apostrophe is in the wrong place, right?
its the only way theyll learn
in the shop, matches and petrol in hand.
Couldn't find the 10 items or fewer till.
not really, it's now toast.
they mean all the different worlds. down to the third world? umm.. no, i dont think so either!
maybe the shop owner just believes that life exists on other planets
as does the local shop called intra-continental supermarket, when it should be inter-continental.
or th eother way,.