Sunday, 5 October 2014

You can't fix stupid

I have been known, from time to time, to complain about the misuse of our magnificent language.  For some reason, many of the practices to which I object seem to have originated across the pond - not that I am blaming any Americans that I know for their deplorable habits.  My latest gripe, coincidentally, comes courtesy of an American company.

Many employers have, over the last few years at least, been known to deplore the falling educational standards of prospective employees.  Complaints have been made, primarily, about numeracy and literacy.  It seems a pity, then, that a multi-national company such as Coca Cola should display an equally low standard of literacy in its choice of slogan in the current advertising campaign in the national press.

More choice, less calories

The phrase should read, "More choice, fewer calories".  The word "less", to indicate a reduction in quantity, should be used only for something that cannot be quantified numerically or that does not have a plural, such as milk, sand or oxygen.  In the case of items that can be counted, such as apples, trees or cars, the word to indicate a reduction in quantity is "fewer".

I'm tempted to write to the company.

I mentioned yesterday that our local paper had run a piece about the Lions having difficulty in finding a venue for our biggest fund-raiser, the annual fireworks display.  The paper's web site has received several comments and suggestions, such as use the beach so that people can see the display free of charge, or give the money we would have spent on fireworks to charity.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

1 comment:

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

It never ceases to amaze me how much the general public believes that the Lions have a bottomless pit of money ...that it just magically appears.

As for butchery of the language...