Fewer than 10 errors would be nice

Fewer than 10 errors a day on the Yahoo! front page wouldn’t just be nice — it would be a miracle.

I really thought that all professional writers knew the difference between less and fewer, but I obviously overestimated the education of Yahoo!’s staffers. For those Yahoo! writers who read Terribly Write, here’s the rundown: Use fewer for things that can be counted (“fewer than 10 lines,” “fewer mistakes”); use less for mass terms (“less mess,” “less paperwork”).  Less than can be used before a noun that denotes a measure of time, money, or distance (“less than five minutes,” “less than $100,” “less than 2 miles”).


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