we mourn our loss

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat Mar 9 16:21:59 UTC 2013

The conclusion to an elegy for a tree that has been cut down in my village:
"a street famous for its elms is now poorer by one more"

Prescriptivists who insist on enforcing a distinction between "less" and
"fewer" have long been butts for scorn.  What if they start calling for a
distinction between "less" and "more"?  Though indeed no adverb is needed:
"poorer by one" is a complete thought.  That' how I'd dodge the controversy.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

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

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