Posts Tagged ‘FEWER/LESS’

Associated Press Proofreads, Fixes Headline

Monday, December 13th, 2010


The second GRAMMAR GLITCH CENTRAL Getting the Grammar Right award goes to The Associated Press for catching and fixing an error in one of their online headlines.  When I first scanned the headlines on my home page this morning, this one made me cringe:

Snow in NW Indiana trap more than 70 motorists

Whoops! SNOW is a collective noun (like LAUNDRY or SALT or MONEY).  It takes a singular verb (with an S on the end).

By the time I ran a few Christmas errands and came back to the computer, AP had corrected the headline to read correctly:

Snow in NW Indiana traps more than 70 motorists

Hats off to AP for spotting the error and correcting it. Let's hope those 70 motorists have now been rescued and are cozy and warm at home.

If you missed the first GRAMMAR GLITCH CENTRAL Getting the Grammar Right award, please check back to my blog entry for June 4, 2010.  It went to Publix Grocery for using the word FEWER correctly on a sign at their checkout lanes.

Publix Grocery Gets the Grammar Right!

Friday, June 4th, 2010

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.