"Private Jets More Fatal Than Commercial Planes"
I recently caught this headline on a news site. Now I'm not saying that the meaning isn't clear - and I am by no means claiming to be a grammar expert - but can something be "more fatal"? My 10th grade English teacher wouldn't have been a good newspaper man, because his version of this headline (I imagine something like, "Statistically-Higher Rate of Fatality on Private Jets Versus Commercial Planes") uses too much ink.
A real nit-picky grammar faux-pas that bugs me (again, thanks to my 10th grade English teacher for pounding this into my head) is the use of less versus fewer. I ate fewer cookies, or I ate less dessert. Once you become aware of the difference, you see these two words misused everywhere. It is highly recommended that one never make the correction in a social setting - or any setting, for that matter - unless your goal is to lose friends and colleagues.
"It is for this reason, Mr. Murchie, that I am sentencing you to less years than recommended by the prosecutor," said the judge.
"With all due respect, your honor, it's 'fewer years' as years can be counted. 'Less years' is grammatically incorrect."
"Well, thank you for the correction, Mr. Murchie! As I was saying, I hereby sentence you to more life without parole."
Don't forget that the first volume of the best from year one of "Monday Fills" is available on Amazon. For a mere $7.95 (or less, depending upon Amazon's dynamic pricing for books), you'll get 84 top-quality crosswords in a finely-bound paperback book. It makes a great gift and is a terrific way to show support for Monday Fills.
Back next week with another fill...