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Less vs. fewer

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mediaguy, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    So twice during national title game, ESPN graphic has pointed out how many "TD drives of 2 minutes or fewer" a team has this season. That should be "less" and not "fewer," right? With time, we're not counting a number of minutes. Surprised to see that ...
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    It's TV, where during blizzards, they can't even get "canceled" spelled right.
  3. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    That one always surprises me to see wrong -- with the verbs ending in L, if first syllable is stressed, don't double the L in past tense, if second syllable is stressed, double it. Not sure why, but always remembered that one.
  4. Hoos3725

    Hoos3725 Member

    Correct. While it may seem backwards, like you said, you're not counting minutes. It's an amount of time, now a number of minutes. Amount -- less; number -- fewer.
  5. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    Maybe the stations are run by Brits.
  6. I'm sure it was a simple mistake. No need to go on the defence.
  7. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  8. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Indeed. If it was two minutes or fewer, it would be drives of two minutes, one minute and, I suppose, zero minutes.

    A basketball player would play fewer minutes than his teammates, however.
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