Wednesday, January 20, 2010

10 Items or FEWER...



Someone at Trader Joe's had the good sense to correct their sign. Bravo.

"Less vs. Fewer" is one of the few grammatical pet peeves I have. You want to end your sentence in a preposition? Go right ahead (although that's not technically a rule).  You like to dangle your participle? ... Knock yourself out!  Don't know the difference between "Affect" and "Effect" - and you're too lazy to Google it?  Me too!!

But the confusion between "Less" and "Fewer" makes me crazy.  This is a pet peeve I inherited from my Mom ... so blame Mama Bunny if you don't like it.

It's all about "Count Nouns vs. Mass Nouns".  LEARN IT.


8 comments:

kayce. said...

the sad part: i'm NOT to lazy to google... in fact, i've google "affect" vs. "effect" and STILL don't fully get it! :D i do now know, however, that "affect" is used more often, so now i just use that as my default, LOL. so bad.

the grammatical errors that get me are it's/its and your/you're. they're simple ones, but every day i spend on teh interwebz is a day that i'm surprised by the number of people who don't know the difference.

kayce. said...

PS: i TOLD YOU that trader joe's rocks! ^_^

Miss Ginger Grant said...

One encounters this particular grammatical faux pas oftem when dieting: it's "fewer" calories, not "less" calories!
The one that drives Miss Ginger crazy is "their-there-they're".

And, here in the South, I have given up on expecting proper subject/verb agreement!

Michael Rivers said...

One of my undergrad degress was English. And less/fewer still confuses the hell out of me. LOL. The to/too/two, it's/its, there/their are so common. I always notice those errors.

Big Mark 243 said...

I am going to get a 'Grammar Girl' widget... and the EFFECT that your journal has had on me has an AFFECT on how I view things!

For instance, watching The Ting Tings on 'SNL' this weekend, the idea came to me... wouldn't this be a great song for the show 'Glee'? I wondered if I knew anyone who had enough 'pull' to get it out there, and I thought of you David!!

I can imagine the plot and maybe I could draft a screenplay around the cast with the perfomance of the song central to it...

... you never know, it could happen. I have seen more done with less, and it isn't like Hollywood would have fewer bad scripts floating around if I didn't add a bad one of mine to the total!

behrmark said...

I have a degree in journalism so I'm not only the grammar police I'm also the punctuation nazi. All bad grammar irks me but the lose/loose errors send up my hackles. Oh and I belong to the "End with a Preposition and Die" club. ;)

Joy said...

I knew I liked Trader Joe's! I love that site! Thank you for showing it to me!

I hate the use of the nominative case after a preposition, as in "between he and I" instead of "between/for/with him and me" (objective case).

Affect is a verb meaning to influence. The word "affect" refers to emotion, too. Think affection. Ex: Trolls affect my blood pressure.

Effect is a noun and means result. Ex: What is the effect of the MA election?

I'm on the side of using the terminal comma for words in a series. What about you, Behrmark?

AGB said...

Dang I just learned something. My moms has a Ph.D. in English at taught at a University. She always corrected me, so I butchered the language on purpose.

Though I'm a journalist, this is the first i've heard of a count/mass noun. Thanks for the lesson.

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