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TinyTim
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  #2716940 1-Jun-2021 21:49
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Eva888:

 

[...] jpoc:

 

Eva888: <snip> Then there’s the embarrassing ones which you only see a millisecond and a gasp after you press send.

<snip>

 

Surely: "there are the embarrassing ones"?

 

[...]

 


Haha, there're. Wonder if I can blame Apple Auto-Correct.

 

Yeaaahh... I did about 40 hours of interviews for some research and transcribed every minute of them. I noticed that not a single person abbreviated "there are" to "there're" - it was "there's" every single time.  And now I notice the same thing in everyday speech. So I wouldn't worry about blaming auto-correct.





 

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TinyTim
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  #2716946 1-Jun-2021 22:14
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Item:

 

BlinkyBill:

 

I agree with you, except that there is confusion about few/fewer and less/lesser. Misuse in this case is basic ignorance. If you can count the units (e.g. units of persons) then it’s few/fewer; and if you can’t count the units easily because it’s a quantity (e.g. air in a room) then it’s less/lesser.

 

 

That is a clear way of expressing it that I will borrow next time.

 

I had always mumbled something like "if it is a volume or amount of something then "less", if it is a number of easily definable discreet objects then "fewer" "

 

I like yours better!

 

 

To me the right usage seems to be if it's a cardinal number (no unit) then it's few/fewer and when you put the unit on the number it becomes a volume so uses less/lesser. So, the correct supermarket usage is either:

 

"5 items or less"

 

or

 

"5 or fewer items"

 

and not

 

"10 items or fewer"

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

(Not helped by the opposite of both fewer and less being more.)

 

 

 

 





 

elpenguino
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  #2716952 1-Jun-2021 22:47
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TinyTim:

 

To me the right usage seems to be if it's a cardinal number (no unit) then it's few/fewer and when you put the unit on the number it becomes a volume so uses less/lesser. So, the correct supermarket usage is either:

 

"5 items or less"

 

or

 

"5 or fewer items"

 

and not

 

"10 items or fewer"

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

 

I think Bill's guide is much easier to explain and it's how I explained it to my kids.

 

The sign at the supermarket is wrong to say 'less' but it doesn't irk me. Unlike the way that kids say 'verse' in stead of 'play against.

 

As in 'our team is versing that team on Saturday'. 

 

How the hell did this happen ?





Most of the posters in this thread are just like chimpanzees on MDMA, full of feelings of bonhomie, joy, and optimism. Fred99 8/4/21




pdh

pdh
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  #2716961 2-Jun-2021 00:43
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Chelsea vs Manchester - short for versus

 

I guess it's now been 'verbed' like so many nouns and prepositions.


mdooher
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  #2716986 2-Jun-2021 07:38
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TinyTim:

 

 

 

To me the right usage seems to be if it's a cardinal number (no unit) then it's few/fewer and when you put the unit on the number it becomes a volume so uses less/lesser. So, the correct supermarket usage is either:

 

"5 items or less"

 

or

 

"5 or fewer items"

 

and not

 

"10 items or fewer"

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

(Not helped by the opposite of both fewer and less being more.)

 

 

No, it is still 5 items or fewer. if you can count them it is fewer.

 

10 grams  or less 

 

10 items or fewer

 

Less money, fewer dollars

 

 

 

 





Matthew


eracode
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  #2716988 2-Jun-2021 07:55
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mdooher:

 

No, it is still 5 items or fewer. if you can count them it is fewer.

 

10 grams  or less 

 

10 items or fewer

 

Less money, fewer dollars

 

 

I do understand this but, although I am generally very pedantic in everyday speech and writing, I know I always incorrectly say less when it should be fewer. I know because I have a close friend, a retired teacher, who likes to sometimes good-naturedly correct people when they get this wrong. I most likely get it wrong when writing too.

 

However my incorrect use has become so ingrained, I know I'll never be able to change and get it right in day-to-day conversation. There might be more chance I'll make less (?) errors when writing - now that I'm more aware if it. If I hadn't thought about it, I would have used 'fewer' there.





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mdooher
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  #2716990 2-Jun-2021 08:02
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eracode:

 

mdooher:

 

No, it is still 5 items or fewer. if you can count them it is fewer.

 

10 grams  or less 

 

10 items or fewer

 

Less money, fewer dollars

 

 

I do understand this but, although I am generally very pedantic in everyday speech and writing, I know I always incorrectly say less when it should be fewer. I have a close friend, a retired teacher, who likes to good-naturedly correct people when they get this wrong. I most likely get it wrong when writing too.

 

However the incorrect use has become so ingrained, I know I'll never be able to change and get it right in day-to-day conversation. There might be more chance I'll make less (?) errors when writing - now that I'm more aware if it.

 

 

actually my first example is quite interesting. I guess it could be either depending on how it was used.

 

less sugar, 10 grams of sugar or less , 10 grams or less? or possibly if you are talking about whole numbers of grams it could be 10 grams or fewer. 

 

I suppose this is one of those examples where correct grammar does matter

 

 





Matthew




eracode
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  #2716994 2-Jun-2021 08:10
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mdooher:

 

actually my first example is quite interesting. I guess it could be either depending on how it was used.

 

less sugar, 10 grams of sugar or less , 10 grams or less? or possibly if you are talking about whole numbers of grams it could be 10 grams or fewer. 

 

I suppose this is one of those examples where correct grammar does matter

 

 

As a pedant, I feel there are a lot of written and spoken errors (grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc) that are important. The incorrect use of apostrophe's in plural's is the error that grates on me the most.

 

However TBH I feel this less/fewer thing is at the low end of the scale and not important at all. It's a very fine distinction IMO (but maybe I think that because it's one of my own failings so I'm minimising it 😀).





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TinyTim
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  #2717000 2-Jun-2021 08:32
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mdooher:

 

actually my first example is quite interesting. I guess it could be either depending on how it was used.

 

less sugar, 10 grams of sugar or less , 10 grams or less? or possibly if you are talking about whole numbers of grams it could be 10 grams or fewer. 

 

I suppose this is one of those examples where correct grammar does matter

 

 

10 or fewer grams. (10 or fewer apples?)

 

 

 

And on the 'versing' example, once I got my head around it, I love it. Great example of the language evolving. 





 

Gurezaemon
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  #2717023 2-Jun-2021 08:39
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eracode:

 

I do understand this but, although I am generally very pedantic in everyday speech and writing, I know I always incorrectly say less when it should be fewer. I know because I have a close friend, a retired teacher, who likes to sometimes good-naturedly correct people when they get this wrong. I most likely get it wrong when writing too.

 

However the incorrect use has become so ingrained, I know I'll never be able to change and get it right in day-to-day conversation. There might be more chance I'll make less (?) errors when writing - now that I'm more aware if it. If I hadn't thought about it, I would have used 'fewer' there.

 

 

And that is how languages change. 
Part of me wants to correct grammar issues, but I also recognize that languages change through all sorts of ways, including 'bad' usage becoming normalized. A lot of what we find grating (e.g. 'we versed them last week') is just because we haven't become used to it, nothing more. 
From Wiki:
Examples of verbification in the English language number in the thousands, including some of the most common words such as mail and e-mail, strike, talk, salt, pepper, switch, bed, sleep, ship, train, stop, drink, cup, lure, mutter, dress, dizzy, divorce, fool, merge, to be found on virtually every page in the dictionary.

 

Stephen Fry vs. Grammar Na*zis sums it up beautifully. 
'We've been sanctioning, envisioning, propositioning, and stationing for a long time'

 





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eracode
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  #2717031 2-Jun-2021 08:58
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Gurezaemon:

 

And that is how languages change. 

 

 

Of course, languages inevitably evolve - but surely that doesn't mean we accept all errors and incorrect usage immediately just because they're part of a faster evolution. Otherwise it would be open-slather and standards would disappear.

 

Does the 'incorrect' use of apostrophes in plurals now become OK because of the evolution?





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Rikkitic
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  #2717034 2-Jun-2021 09:08
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Language is for communication. Correct usage is for precision. Some incorrect usage is just sloppiness and can obscure intended meaning. Some is creative, and can be a step to new usage. When the correct forms become stilted and unnatural, they have had their day. Language should be used in a manner that is comfortable and clear to others. Beyond that it doesn't matter so much. 

 

 





Plesse igmore amd axxept applogies in adbance fir anu typos

 


 


Gurezaemon
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  #2717054 2-Jun-2021 09:56
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eracode:

 

Of course, languages inevitably evolve - but surely that doesn't mean we accept all errors and incorrect usage immediately just because they're part of a faster evolution. Otherwise it would be open-slather and standards would disappear.

 

Does the 'incorrect' use of apostrophes in plurals now become OK because of the evolution?

 

 

The incorrect addition of apostrophes is a step too far - rather than a changed spelling, adding an apostrophe in 2 apple's doesn't serve a purpose - it's an intentional addition made out of not knowing the difference. 
Omitting apostrophes to my mind less heinous - it could be interpreted as just writing casually, or in a hurry. It's still annoying though.

 

I think grammar na*is enthusiasts such as myself have a role in slowing the pace of change to one where most people can keep up with what is being communicated, even if at times they find it uncomfortable. Examples where there hasn't been this slowing of change might be in groups with their own argot (teens, gangs, ethic groups, etc.), and most people outside of those groups have trouble understanding that group's speech.

 

People in these groups need to be able to code-switch — change how they speak depending on who they're talking to. Most of us can do it subconsciously (for example not using bad language in front of grandma or in a job interview, etc.) and it's an essential skill. Those people who aren't even aware of the difference and can't tone down the bad language and slang when they need to end up hamstringing themselves socially and professionally.





Get your business seen overseas - Nexus Translations


smidon
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  #2718247 4-Jun-2021 13:09
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My pet hates in no particular order:

 

- yous/youse ... I remember Ma'a Nonu holding up a cup at the Wellington stadium "this is for youse". I cannot help but reply "baa" whenever I hear it. 

 

- one foul swoop ... there's a certain common sense to it, but in point of fact it's "one fell swoop", fell meaning evil.

 

- momentarily ... "the news [or whatever] will be on momentarily." Uh oh, better listen up in case we miss it.

 

Cheers Don


elpenguino
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  #2718264 4-Jun-2021 13:25
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smidon:

 

My pet hates in no particular order:

 

- yous/youse ... I remember Ma'a Nonu holding up a cup at the Wellington stadium "this is for youse". I cannot help but reply "baa" whenever I hear it. 

 

- one foul swoop ... there's a certain common sense to it, but in point of fact it's "one fell swoop", fell meaning evil.

 

- momentarily ... "the news [or whatever] will be on momentarily." Uh oh, better listen up in case we miss it.

 

Cheers Don

 

 

I'm wrapped you mentioned all those.





Most of the posters in this thread are just like chimpanzees on MDMA, full of feelings of bonhomie, joy, and optimism. Fred99 8/4/21


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