Less-Fewer, Again

Sigh . . . folks love being proud of their alma maters.  That’s fine, but it isn’t me.  Mostly it stems from the fact I have no association whatsoever with my college.  While it was a fine experience, a good school, etc., I have no ties to it.  None of this is surprising, I didn’t even attend my graduation.

For the last decade or so, however, I have read the school’s newspaper online.  They finally got with it and offered an RSS feed.

Every now and then something is written that catches my attention.  Such was this week’s checklist for Spring Break.  Not surprising condoms were on the list.

Pack condoms. We’re not implying that you’re going to have sex with strangers; we’re just going along with what MTV Spring Break has taught us since we were nine.

Plus, you don’t want to be stuck in a foreign country where you can’t read the label and end up buying a box of Wet Naps instead of Trojans.

Cute.  Of course, what the hell are they teaching at this Lutheran school that condoms are acceptable?  Anyhow . . . after the advice of not flashing boobs I read:

Of course, if you’re trying to reverse that double standard where girls can’t be players, then the less names you know the better.

The use of less is problematic.  Is there no editor?  That’s not it, there’s a whole page of editors.

As I have noted before, fewer is used for things that are finite, less for those that are measured.

One of the things I teach my students is to listen to how the sentence sounds when spoken aloud.  I gather Ms. Grinenko and Ms. Kaczmarczik are unfamiliar with this lesson.

When I attended Muhlenberg, Dr. Thornberg taught Freshman English.   He was a crotchety old man.  I liked him.  While all the first years napped during his class, I recall him stating that he was talking at us.  During a conference I reminded him that some of us (me, anyhow) paid attention and participated, therefore, he was speaking with us.  He reminded me of my grandfather.  I am certain he would be disappointed to know that less was used in a school publication in this fashion.

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