'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.
Go here to find out more.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Fewer Words, Less Writing
I have a pet hate. It's when people say or write 'less' when it should be 'fewer'.
Just now a chap on Radio New Zealand National was being interviewed as to the correct way to read to pre-schoolers. I would have thought he'd be well-versed in grammar, but no. To cater for 3 and 4 year-olds' small attention span (taken as a 'given' - but that's another rant of mine), one of his suggestions was to 'read less words to them'. Augghhhh!
How hard is this? Can it be counted? If it has an 's' or it's plural, it's 'fewer'.
If it is stuff that can't be counted, it's 'less'.
Fewer raindrops. Less rain.
Fewer bees. Less fruit.
Fewer teachers. Less money.*
Fewer plants and animals. Less biodiversity.
Fewer sweeties. Less candy and less money required for dentist bills.
Fewer weeks left before exhibition. Less time in which to paint.