Monday, May 21, 2012

A Probably Pointless Post for Everyone except the 2 English Teachers who Read this Blog

I posted about this on my Facebook account, and it was pretty much ignored.  At that time I didn’t have a picture for proof, and I didn’t make an explanation, so here goes.
Items that can be measured are properly described by “less;” items that can be counted by “fewer.”  This concept can be a little tricky, as in the following sentences:
  • There is less flour in this canister than in that one.
  • There are fewer cups of flour in this canister than in that one.
The difference in the two sentences, of course, is that one word describes “flour” and the other, “cups.”
In recent years, advertising has done its best to blur this distinction, using “less” to describe everything, such as “less calories.”  It has carried over into into other places, particularly stores that seem to describe their express lanes as being for “10 items or less.”  That is, except for the United Grocery Stores in Amarillo, TX.  (It could well be all of their stores, but I don’t have evidence.)  Here is the picture to prove it:
photo(75)
It takes so little to thrill me these days!

4 comments:

Deborah said...

It's not pointless. I get what you are saying and I'm not an English teacher.

Soonerbeknitting said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who notices that kind of error. We have a coach who is forever talking about having "less" kids in a class which makes me grit my teeth!

Maybe I need to retire and lighten up. :)

Sandra said...

I am one of those English teachers! Using fewer/less correctly is such a simple concept. Kudos to your store !

Deb said...

Love this! The lack of distinction between the two drives me nuts. Kudos to the grocery store!