Is the word ‘fewer’ disappearing from English?

I’ve been listening and I hear people using the word ‘less’ when the correct word would be ‘fewer’.  As in ‘less people are saying fewer’.

Listen yourself, see if you hear it too.

16 responses to “Is the word ‘fewer’ disappearing from English?

  1. I was corrected by a very snooty society woman when I was 19 who told me “smart men don’t marry women with poor grammar.” I thought, “what a snob” But I did stop saying “less” when I meant “fewer”! And my husband, who I met years later is VERY smart!


  2. Well there you go! The power of the few(er)!!


  3. Because he did the post, I know you know the difference, but for others who want to know more, here’s something from Chicago Manual of Style.


  4. Heard it last night from the local commentator on Ch. 7 who covers so. county and the hackles went up. Bust must ask, what exactly are hackles?


  5. I DO hear it all the time. It’s been around for years in “less fat, less calories”. Argh. It’s like those space takers “just” and “like”. And who STARTS a sentence with “I mean”? Talking heads are increasingly using “of course” and “by the way” (I’m talking to you Brian Williams and Bob Haragan). Those phrases make the story that follows sound like an after thought or insignificant. I swear people do not hear themselves.


    • When the talking heads and newsreaders yak yak, they committ far worse sins. My new favorite for the ‘awful award’ is the CBS network news guy who starts stories iwth “we wondered about [whatever] and looked into it and thought you might be interested too”. What????? Infantile. Totally. It actually SAYS that the following story is an ‘afterthought’.


  6. Well I’m quite prone to flubs in my writing, but I try.

    I’ll try to make less mistakes

    Doh!! I mean fewer.


  7. Wouldn’t the use of the word ‘go’ instead of ‘say’ be at least as egregious???


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