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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by original PM View Post
    And there we have it - a man with a St Georges flag asking for less refugees to be allowed into the Uk is now seen as racist.

    As opposed to expressing an opinion and being proud of being British.

    Thank you so much for completely proving the point.


    Fewer

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip in a Poke View Post


    Fewer
    1.'Less' is not a misspelling of 'fewer'. You mean, I think, that it is a grammatical error.
    2. 'Less' is also grammatically correct.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fewer_vs._less

    According to prescriptive grammar, "fewer" should be used (instead of "less") with nouns for countable objects and concepts (discretely quantifiable nouns or count nouns). According to this rule, "less" should be used only with a grammatically singular noun (including mass nouns). However, descriptive grammarians (who describe language as actually used) point out that this rule does not correctly describe the most common usage of today or the past and in fact arose as an incorrect generalization of a personal preference expressed by a grammarian in 1770.
    Historical usage[edit]
    Less has always been used in English with counting nouns. Indeed, the application of the distinction between less and fewer as a rule is a phenomenon originating in the 18th century. On this, Merriam–Webster's Dictionary of English Usage notes:[1]
    As far as we have been able to discover, the received rule originated in 1770 as a comment on 'less': This Word is most commonly used in speaking of a Number; where I should think Fewer would do better. "No Fewer than a Hundred" appears to me, not only more elegant than "No less than a Hundred," but more strictly proper. (Baker 1770). Baker's remarks about 'fewer' express clearly and modestly – 'I should think,' 'appears to me' – his own taste and preference....Notice how Baker's preference has been generalized and elevated to an absolute status and his notice of contrary usage has been omitted."

    The oldest use that the Oxford English Dictionary gives for less with a count noun is a quotation from 888 by Alfred the Great.

    Swa mid læs worda swa mid ma, swæðer we hit yereccan mayon.
    With less words or with more, whether we may prove it.

    This is in fact an Old English partitive construction using the "quasi-substantive" adverb læs and the genitive worda ("less of words"). When the genitive plural ceased to exist, less of words became less words, and this construction has been used since then until the present.
    Where there's muck there's brass.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladyuk View Post
    1.'Less' is not a misspelling of 'fewer'. You mean, I think, that it is a grammatical error.
    2. 'Less' is also grammatically correct.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fewer_vs._less
    No it's not. It's incorrect.

    You didn't even read what you quoted.

    Refugees is a countable noun therefore fewer is correct here.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip in a Poke View Post
    No it's not. It's incorrect.

    You didn't even read what you quoted.

    Refugees is a countable noun therefore fewer is correct here.
    Oh dear. I posted why prescriptive grammar claims that 'less' is incorrect, and why prescriptive grammar is demonstrably flawed, reflecting neither current nor historical usage.
    Where there's muck there's brass.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladyuk View Post
    Oh dear. I posted why prescriptive grammar claims that 'less' is incorrect, and why prescriptive grammar is demonstrably flawed, reflecting neither current nor historical usage.
    Why don't you two get a room and re-create that scene from Life Of Brian...


    His heart is in the right place - shame we can't say the same about his brain...

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