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31 March, 2004

Language evolves

It's not something I'd noticed, but Cliff reports that the signs at express checkouts in the Lancaster branch of Sainsburys are deliberately ungrammatical in saying 'ten items or less'.  He wrote to Sainsburys and was told that:

"... the way we communicate as a brand is based on the use of real english, we want to be clear, friendly and honest - like in a conversation with a friend.  While 'fewer' may be grammatically correct, we believe using the word 'less' fits this criteria in a more realistic way."

Ignoring the multiple grammatical errors in that response, I rather agree with their point, surprisingly.

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