Warning to my readers-this post is a bit of a rant.
What ever happened to grammar education?! I realize not everyone had the opportunity to learn to love grammar in Mrs. Pettengill’s ninth-grade English class, but there are two common mistakes that I keep hearing lately that set my teeth on edge!
#1-The misuse of the words fewer and less. Use fewer if you are talking about a finite, countable number. “I have fewer cupcakes than I need.” Save the word less for describing large amounts that are not easily counted. “This has less information than I was hoping to find.” We do not have “less books” or “less minutes”; you can have “fewer books” or “fewer minutes.” You can also have less time than you expected; don’t we all? I have less fuel in my car than I thought I did (but that is easily remedied).
#2-At what point did the word “why” become an acceptable substitute for “the reason I did this” or “because…”? “Why I was late is….” or “why I did that…”. AUGH!!!! Really?! Let’s develop our thoughts just a few steps further before we speak them.
I admit I have been called “the grammar police” by my children (and others). I do have the tendency to grit my teeth when I hear blatant incorrect adverb modifications, or problematic preposition use.
The English language is a wondrous, evolving, and magical language. Let’s learn to speak it with all the majesty it deserves!
Okay. Rant ended.