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Friday, December 14, 2012

Surprised at mayor Savage's poor english

Posted on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM

In last week's issue on page 5, Tim Bousquet quoted Mayor Savage as saying: "We can be involved in doing our jobs if there's less council meetings." English is a beautiful language but spoken in this manner, it takes on a crude edge. The verb to be needs to agree with the subject which is in this case in the predicate (I think it's called a nominative; correct me if I'm wrong) "meetings" (plural) so it would need to use the plural form of the verb "are;" secondly "less" is only used with uncountable nouns like "sugar" "tea" "gravel." In this case the noun "meetings" is countable so the correct word is "fewer" (Sadly a word we are seeing "less" of. (Just to confuse matters but in this case it modifies the clausal verb "are seeing") so the sentence would correctly read: "We can be involved in doing our jobs if there are fewer council meetings." Doesn't that sound better to the ears? Call me picky but it bodes poorly in regard to his paying attention and respecting what was surely taught him in school, or was he quoted incorrectly? —English Language Lover

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