Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Thu Mar 15 12:36:39 UTC 2007

Wilson, at a considerably more advanced point in history, the 1950s, I was specifically taught to say "lowest common denominator," NOT "least common denominator," to avoid the possible ambiguity of "least common"!


---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 18:50:14 -0400
>From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject: Re: mid-aughts
>When I was a child during the '40's, I was taught to use "_least_ common denominator" and "nought" instead of "_lowest_ common denominator" and "zero." Although I've managed to adjust to "zero," I still say and write "least common denominator." However, I am forced to admit that the number of occasions upon which I need to speak or write of the "least common denominator" is vanishingly small.

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

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