Author Topic: Grammar that makes you cringe  (Read 385283 times)

peliroja

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Grammar that makes you cringe
« on: May 01, 2008, 05:35:38 pm »
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border-rider

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2008, 05:38:47 pm »
All your Sales & Marketing Team are belong to us :)

Regulator

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2008, 05:39:07 pm »
My pet hate...

the "10 items or less" signs in my local Sainsbury's.   >:(

I've been known to carry a marker pen around and correct them...  ;D
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I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2008, 05:44:07 pm »
You are Lynne Truss and I claim my five pounds  ;D


Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2008, 05:45:58 pm »
what's wrong with "10 items or less"?  I've never understood that one.

Basil

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2008, 05:49:11 pm »
Fewer
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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 05:50:38 pm »
Should be "fewer", innit.

How I work it out: if you can count them individually, it's fewer (fewer people on the streets, fewer sweeties in the jar). If it's a quantity of something like flour, it's less (less beer for your buck).

I'm sure there's a scientific explanation though.

Wowbagger

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 05:51:31 pm »
what's wrong with "10 items or less"?  I've never understood that one.

Fewer.

"Less" is used for a measurable quantity. 3kilos of flour, or less. 2.5 kilos is less than 3 kilos.

"Fewer" is used for a specific number. You can't have 9.5 items.

Edit: beaten to it by LMM. Flour - damned good example, LMM! :D
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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 05:53:39 pm »
thanks!  Another cloud lifted.

Salvatore

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 05:55:17 pm »
My pet hate...

the "10 items or less" signs in my local Sainsbury's.   >:(

I've been known to carry a marker pen around and correct them...  ;D

M&S and Waitrose both use 'fewer'. Shop at either of these and save on marker pens.
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Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 05:58:50 pm »
My pet hate...

the "10 items or less" signs in my local Sainsbury's.   >:(

I've been known to carry a marker pen around and correct them...  ;D

M&S and Waitrose both use 'fewer'. Shop at either of these and save on marker pens.


I hate shopping at M&S - and their ads just make it worse.

We don't have a Waitrose near us - the closest is Oxford Street.  The attraction of the Sainsbury's is that it's a 'Sainsbury's Market' and all I have to do is turn left out of the front door...
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

IanDG

  • The p*** artist formerly known as 'Windy'
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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 06:07:28 pm »
I have very poor spoken grammear, Mrs W is always correcting me

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 06:09:04 pm »
I have very poor spoken grammear, Mrs W is always correcting me


Your spelling is not that hot either.... ;D
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

IanDG

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 06:10:34 pm »
I have very poor spoken grammear, Mrs W is always correcting me


Your spelling is not that hot either.... ;D

whoops  ;D

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 06:13:01 pm »
I was recently praised (by an older man) for using the word 'fewer'. Does it truly matter, tho? Failure to make the distinction doesn't obscure meaning, it can't be used to deceive. It's not the sort of thing that Orwell would cite, were we to resurrect him and have him write a noughties 'Politics and the English Language'.

Wouldn't the UK be a better place if we channeled our language ire towards those solecisms that mislead, obscure, debase or are simply downright ugly?

Or, even better, made a unilateral decision to use cut speling   :D

Pete

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 06:14:49 pm »
I have very poor spoken grammear, Mrs W is always correcting me

I shall refrain from adding a missing full stop.  Or substituting a colon or semicolon for the comma.  ;D

I don't see a problem with "less", when referring to countable items.  Indeed most other languages don't have separate words for "less" and "fewer".  Remember also that the English language is ever changing with the times.

IanDG

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 06:16:40 pm »
 :-[

I only just scraped my English O level, you can see why.

Tourist Tony

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2008, 06:17:08 pm »
I have a small area of hell reserved for the signwriter who marked up a bus in Harwich with an advertisement containing the slogan "you're friendly local travel agent"
And "you'r"
And "your'e"
And "youre"


Space is also being held there for the people who paid him.

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2008, 06:19:01 pm »
Whilst fewer criminals would be good, I quite like the idea of less criminals.
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Pete

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2008, 06:19:56 pm »
:-[

I only just scraped my English O level, you can see why.

Honestly, it doesn't matter, Windy.  Strike out that  :-[ and replace it with a  ;D!

Regulator

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2008, 06:22:39 pm »
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2008, 06:23:36 pm »
On "The Apprentice" last night, one idiot spent four hours trying to contact a sub-ed at the Torygraph to confirm whether there should be an apostrophe in "National Singles Day".

I think they went without in the end, which was probably best since it's an invented title, but National Singles' Day would have been OK.



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clifftaylor

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2008, 06:26:15 pm »
Whilst fewer criminals would be good, I quite like the idea of less criminals.

I saw a Fewer Spotted Woodpecker last weekend.

Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2008, 06:29:30 pm »
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.

No, it really does not matter.   Let's celebrate the glory and diversity of the English language in the variety of use both spoken and written around the world.  There is no need to be pedantic as long as the meaning is clear in the context of everyday use.

Regulator

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Re: Grammar that makes you cringe
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2008, 06:31:01 pm »
Sorry it does matter.  English is a wonderful language, in part due to its complexities and oddities.  I don't want it to become Leftpondian or txt speak.  Let's celebrate its diversity and quirks.

No, it really does not matter.   Let's celebrate the glory and diversity of the English language in the variety of use both spoken and written around the world.  There is no need to be pedantic as long as the meaning is clear in the context of everyday use.

However, with the exception of Leftpondia, most English spoken around the world is 'traditional' English, with correct grammar and spelling. 
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor