Blogs > Fresh Ink

Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good grammar, more or less

As you can tell from my last post, I am rarely eligible for the express checkout aisle at Price Chopper. But I used it to buy a birthday cake for thirty-something Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor. Anyway, I looked up and noticed, with delight, that the sign said "20 items or fewer" as opposed to "20 items or less."
Fewer is the grammatically correct word.
When to use "less" or "fewer" is almost instinctive for writers with a propensity for correct grammar. The rest of us look it up. I frequently refer to one of my writing bibles, "The Careful Writer" by the late, great Theodore Bernstein, and double-checked the less vs. fewer entry before creating this post.
Thank you, Price Chopper, for doing it right.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to read Ms. Lombardo, that you take notice and praise.

I might add the grammar and spelling has gotten somewhat better in the paper over the past year or so.

April 9, 2010 at 8:15 AM 
Blogger Fresh Ink said...

I thank you. But as a compulsive editor, I must note that you should have a comma before Ms. as well as after Lombardo.

April 9, 2010 at 3:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a fascinating article. It has everything someone could want: Grammar...grocery stores...a book.........ahaahghaghghahggahgh.......oh excuse me I had a gun in my mouth.

April 10, 2010 at 8:42 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see you have time to write something productive between hair and nail appointments. It would behoove yourself, with your dwindling readership, to stop wasting time on crap like this and actually put news in your paper.

April 13, 2010 at 10:19 AM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home