Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Find me a case of someone saying "fewer" followed by an uncountable noun: On the "rule" about "fewer" and "less"

A Facebook friend insisted that "fewer" should be used with countable nouns and "less" with uncountable nouns. I pointed him to a blog post about the history of this rule, which was invented by Robert Baker in 1770, but he continued to object that many people don't understand the difference. If you follow this rule, I have a request: You tell me when you hear someone say "fewer knowledge" (or any uncountable noun). That is, I'm pretty sure the only usage you are objecting to is "less" followed by a countable noun (as in "less eggs", which I've found several cases of online) rather than "fewer" followed by an uncountable noun. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 27 December 2022)

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