Re[2]: Interchangeable Adjectives?

Subject: Re[2]: Interchangeable Adjectives?
From: Diane Williams <Diane_Williams -at- FCS -dot- USDA -dot- GOV>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 15:20:27 EST

Use "less" when you can't count what you're measuring as individual
1. I sure wish he'd be less hostile towards her.
2. I wish this job was less of a hassle.

Use "fewer" when you can count what you're measuring as individual
1. I wish there were fewer cars on the road today.
2. She needs to lose fewer pounds than I do.

However, when wishing the opposite, "more" can be substituted for either


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Interchangeable Adjectives?
Author: Mark Baker <mbaker -at- OMNIMARK -dot- COM> at INTERNET
Date: 4/25/98 7:28 PM

Lucille Lattanzi wrote:

>One side claims that modern usage for "less" and "fewer" is to consider
>them interchangeable in most cases.

They are certainly not interchangable in contemporary usage. No one says,
"use fewer salt." The question is, is "less" an acceptable substitute for
"fewer". The reverse is clearly not the case.

Language does grow and change, but our best policy is to do that which will
distract the fewest readers. Since no one is distracted by the traditional
use of "fewer", and many people are distrcted by the contemporary habit of
substituting "less", the nod should go to traditional usage of this one.

Mark Baker
Manager, Corporate Communications
OmniMark Technologies Corporation
1400 Blair Place
Gloucester, Ontario
Canada, K1J 9B8
Phone: 613-745-4242
Fax: 613-745-5560
Email mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com

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