TV Has It Wrong
Language is a changing thing. The changes first happen in conversation and eventually they become accepted in written language as well. That’s what happened with that old rule Don’t finish a sentence with a preposition.
Power Hits prove that not everything you see in print, hear in a song, or watch on TV are correct.
In this case, two words the mass media can’t seem to get right are less and fewer. So let’s settle that matter once and for all.
Count and Noncount Nouns
You probably learned that a noun is a person, place, or thing, But I’m guessing that count and noncount nouns might be new terms to you. They’re what you might expect them to be.
Things you can count: pencils, tables, trees, and computers are all count nouns.
Things that you can’t count: coffee, sky, love, and values are noncount nows.
The correct use is:
I have more or fewer count nouns.
I have more pencils. I have fewer pencils.
I have more or less noncount nouns.
I have more coffee. I have less coffee.
So that the beer commercial should say
More taste, fewer calories.
Guess the ad agency didn’t have a copyeditor.
–ME “Liz” Strauss