One Fewer error

27 06 2016

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” ~ Henry Ford

Driving in today I was thinking about one of my grammatical pet peeves, and was hoping that I’d have an opportunity to talk about it in a daily comic.  Imagine my surprise when I opened up the daily Rubes, and was blessed with the perfect one to do it with.  My pet peeve is around people who don’t know the difference between “less” and “few”.  These are not synonyms.  You can’t trade them out in a sentence willy-nilly.  You use few when referring to things that can be counted (objects, concepts, nouns, units).  Less is a degree of measure, used for singular nouns.  You can have less gas in your car when you get to work than you did at home.  You can’t have fewer gas.  However, you can have fewer gallons of gas in your car at the end of your commute (because there are numbers of gallons but only one tank that is less full).

Leaders, whether it’s this grammatical pet peeve or others, please remember that some people will judge you by your use of language.  When unsure, feel free to bounce an important document past someone whose writing you trust.  It’s far better to ask for help than to have a reader scoff at your proposal, and move it to the bottom of the pile because you didn’t even care enough to have it proofread before sending it off for consideration.  If you follow this rule, you’ll have one fewer error in your future proposals… or it s it less???  🙂

Speaking of few…

fewer corner

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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