- Feb 21, 2013
Language changes, and usage changes, so you have to accept some errors that are also just changes in usage. Still, for anyone who has been around long enough to cultivate a particular usage, the "wrong" diction can really grate. Even seven figure broadcast anchors are tending toward using less instead of fewer. What the hell am I talking about? Fewer used to be used to describe things that are countable, that occur in units. You don't say less people; you say fewer people. Less is used for quantities that come in a flow, like less cream in your coffee, or less gas in your car. When this old rule is ignored, it clunks for me like a dropped automobile differential. I have less respect for most bad usage, and admire the fewer speakers who get it "right."