a better toilet

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 15 06:14:07 UTC 2012

A piece on a Microsoft grant to reinvent the toilet at HuffPo includes a
slideshow of past MS technological failures. It is in one of these
slides that you find the sentence

> The product, which may have been ahead of its time, was ultimately a
> flop, failing to attract more than 1 million subscribers

The clash here is between "failing" and "more than". Unless the product
had sold exactly 1 million subscription, that's a failed comparison, at
least on the principle of word economy. But I also happen to think it
fails on the semantic level. The intended meaning appears to be that
fewer than 1 million subscriptions had been sold. Why include "more than"?


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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