Digital strategist, front end + email developer, WordPress enthusiast, IT tinkerer, and not-so-horrible writer

Please Stop Using ‘Less’ When You Mean ‘Fewer’

I see this mistake all over the web and and want to point out that there's a technical difference when ‘less' and ‘fewer' should be used.

Use ‘less' when you mean weight, size, volume, or something similar.

Use ‘fewer' when it's in number.


Did you see Sheila? Looks like there's less of her to go around these days – she looks great!

Let's head over to McSloppies. Their happy hour is wicked and usually there are fewer people there this time of night.

Please help me fix the internet on this point; it's driving me nuts to see 'em used completely interchangeably. Here is an article with more information for the wordnerds out there.

That is all.

2 Responses to Please Stop Using ‘Less’ When You Mean ‘Fewer’

  1. There is one endeavor where this rule is violated 100% of the time. And that is in arithmetic. There, one never says for example, 5 is fewer than 6. One always says 5 is less than six.

  2. Arrgh! I feel the opposite. Please can everyone stop using “fewer” when the simpler “less” will do fine. Even the little Windows copy boxes have succumbed – “Fewer details” etc. It’s not smart or clever to use a longer word, it’s just pedantic – or, as I prefer – daft.

Leave a reply