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"The word "fewer" seems to have all but disappeared and replaced by "less." I was told that you used fewer for things you could count (e.g dollars) and less for things you can't (e.g. money). But now less is doing heavy duty.

Of course, "child" and "children" have been replaced by "kid" and "kids." Because no one speaks of lambs anymore in our urban society, there is not much confusion, I guess.


I had a rather traditional English teacher in high school who was adamant about the distinction between less and fewer. She taught us the same as you were told, fewer for things that were countable, less for things that weren't. At the time I took her classes, she had been teaching in the same school system for a mere forty years (some of my class mates were her third generation). She also was quick to correct those (especially other teachers) who referred to us as "kids." She was wont to point out that the last time she checked, her students were not baby goats. Here in sheep country, I've never heard young sheep called anything but lambs, but young goats are called kids.

I agree that less is being called upon for heavier duty than it should. ;-)

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