Friday, August 14, 2009

Exceeding Limits

The dog days of summer slammed into the South with the vengeance of Sherman taking Atlanta. Phew, has it been hot. It's all I can do to get through the day without wilting like hot lettuce. Me, I love the heat. But there are limits. . . and mine have been exceeded.

So, came home from the grocery store the other day and just glanced at the paper bag. (I usually take my cloth ones, but that day I'd exceeded my cloth bag limit. So I had them pack the remainder in paper. I recycle!) On the side, printed in bold letters, the paper bag read "Less Stops, More Savings." Who was the nitwit who approved "less stops?" Apparently he or she never had Miss Moffatt for English. More and more, I see "less" used when "fewer" is the correct word. ARGHH! What are we coming to as an English speaking nation? It's become so common for people to say "where's it at?" that I don't even react anymore. In years past, I wanted to vomit with disgust. How hard is it to ask "where is it?" My tolerance for bad grammar and syntax slides downhill as I realize I can't save the language singlehandedly.

If you google the name Stephen Becker and the Virginia Quarterly Review, you can read a wonderful essay by the late writer about dealing with grammar/syntax editors from hell. He cared as much as I, and railed against the horror with more courage and finesse, to be sure. A COVENANT WITH DEATH is my favorite lawyer book of all time, and he's the author.

1 comment:

CJ Parker said...

I have pet peeves with grammar too. But I long ago gave up correcting people. My hubby got to the point he told me I was being rude when I told him things were "that" and people were "who". And the sad thing is when you hang with people who use bad grammar you catch yourself using it around them. Go figure.