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Daily Archives: August 7, 2011

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"amounts" vs. "numbers" and "less" vs. "fewer"

 

I often hear someone say "…a large amount of people…".  People don't come in amounts; they're not amounts. They're numbers, as in "numbers of people." The same can be said of trees in a forest…"a large number of trees."

 

When there are large "numbers" of people attending a big sporting event, they consume large "amounts" of beer.

 

Water, sand, oil, grain, wood, spinach, and other bulk items come in "amounts."

 

There is also no such thing as "less jobs." When we discuss things like jobs, the comparative word should be "fewer"…fewer jobs, not less jobs. Because jobs don't come in amounts; they come in numbers. And there is strength in numbers.

                                                                                                                               
 
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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Uncategorized