Less isn’t fewer

Bloganuary Day 8: Finally, a chance for a rant…

What do you like most about your writing?

I spent most of my working life writing for a living. As an investment analyst, the constant churning out of ‘reports’ was what I was supposed, and paid, to do.

I like to think that I was quite good at it. When I was headhunted by a major US investment bank from my then job with a Scottish stockbroker, no less august a publication than the ‘Financial Times’, in a rare display – for that august organ – of rampant hyperbole, described me as a ‘star writing analyst’.

But to address the question at hand: what do I like most about my own writing?

Answer: it is, I hope, grammatically correct.

I would rather be forced to sit through a box set of ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ than use a noun as a verb (‘task’, ‘impact’), or insert an egregious apostrophe.

It probably helped, if that’s the right word, to have studied Philosophy at university. Clarity of expression counts for a lot when expounding on complex, non-tangible concepts and you simply cannot express yourself with the necessary lucidity unless you abide by the rules of grammar.

Albeit with great reluctance, I may occasionally split an infinitive, although it pains me greatly. I may even put a conjunction at the beginning or end of a sentence if it makes the meaning clearer.

However, I hope I will never confuse ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’, or use ‘less’ when I mean ‘fewer’.

And yes it does bloody matter.

One thought on “Less isn’t fewer

  1. Pingback: Where no man has gone before | the only deadhead in the hameau

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