I’m not perfect (gasp) when it comes to proper grammar usage, few of us are. But as a writer who invites the public to read her words, I strive to be as good as I can be, and to get better all the time. My oldest sister is an English teacher by trade, and together –ever since we were children — we take a somewhat perverse pleasure in correcting family members.
Our other sister can’t spell her way out of a paper bag, but that’s okay because she’s in Accounting and I haven’t balanced my checkbook since 1986. We all have our quirks, eh?
Now, that said, I have this one particular pet peeve that’s been driving me UP THE WALL lately. In commercials on the radio, on the television, speakers, news men and women, every friggin’ Tom, Dick, Harry and Lucille ! They’re all getting it wrong, it’s being broadcast all over the airwaves, searing into brains around the globe and boring a hole through my own. And now, just yesterday, for the second time in several months, I’ve seen it used by non other than professional editors!
Months ago, while reading a blog written by a professional editor who reviews books for her blog, she did it and I became so frustrated, I logged on just so I could correct her.
And now, yesterday, while reading an interview wherein a literary agent who also works as a professional editor did it twice, in one paragraph!
What made yesterday so much more irritating was the fact that, later in the same interview, this agent spoke about writers who submit to him without even a working understanding of spelling and grammar. How writers these days seem to have very little mastery of the English language and how they don’t seem to realize it’s a necessity in this business.
I’m not going to name either of them, or link to the articles, because frankly I’m too lazy right now to go find the links and I’d quite like a nap.
What is this offense that has me so riled, you ask?
They say Less, when they mean Fewer.
You hear it all the time. “Use Proactive and you’ll have less pimples.”
“FEWER pimples!” I scream at my television set. “Less acne, FEWER pimples!” But they don’t hear me.
They don’t care.
In this interview yesterday, the unnamed agent/editor said “…that means less books acquired.” And again “.. since less books are being sold…”
FEWER ! That means FEWER books acquired ! Since FEWER books are being sold !
Less book buying, fewer books.
I scream at the internet, but it doesn’t hear me. It doesn’t care.
Power to the People!
Make Love, Not War!
I could do with less of these fewers.