Publix Grocery Gets the Grammar Right!

The first ever Grammar Glitch "Getting the Grammar Right" award goes to Publix grocery stores for their Express lane sign that reads: 10 ITEMS OR FEWER. A friend pointed this out recently and said the sign used to read 10 ITEMS OR LESS but was changed in order to correct the grammar. I don't know whether that scenario is true or not, but I do know that the current sign is correct. When you are checking out at the grocery store, you are "supposed to" count the number of items in your basket and choose the appropriate line. Anything you can count (like fewer cans of peas, fewer bags of popcorn, fewer gallons of milk) should be described with FEWER. Save LESS for those lump sum concept items (less sugar, less flour, less money!). Here are some other examples:

I have FEWER problems with spelling than I used to. 

I take LESS time proofreading than I used to.

Justin owns FEWER apartment buildings than John does.    

Alice has LESS equity in her house than Sally does. 

Got it? Hats off to Publix for "Getting It Right" in their grocery stores.

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4 Responses to “Publix Grocery Gets the Grammar Right!”

  1. Schorschi says:

    Also known as "countables" and "uncountables". English (as a foreign language) students learn this in year 2, I believe. Native speakers seem to learn it: never.

  2. admin says:

    Vielen Dank! Appreciate the comment. Please see my new post on this subject, dated May 31, 2016.

  3. David Bedell says:

    Just used this photo for an example of the idiom of fewer v less, thanks!

  4. admin says:

    Great!  I’m glad you found it helpful. When I asked permission to take the photo, I complimented the local Publix manager on the good grammar, and he had no idea what I was talking about, but he did let me take the photo.


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