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"One less thing to worry about"

(10 Posts)
UnquietDad Tue 03-Nov-09 15:02:34

It should be "one fewer", surely, according to The Rules? Things are countable. But that just sounds wrong.

Trying to think of similar expressions.

RealityBites Tue 03-Nov-09 15:04:02

Message withdrawn

FabioExtremeAngler Tue 03-Nov-09 15:04:12

Innit tho.

KurriKurri Tue 03-Nov-09 15:26:42

'One thing fewer' sounds a bit better than 'one fewer thing'. I think its the inclusion of the 'one' in that expression that jars. 'If that happened, I'd have fewer things to worry about' sounds fine I think, not quite sure why though smile

prism Thu 05-Nov-09 16:05:08

Well, 7 is one less than 8, so "one less thing" does in my opinion pass muster. But "less things" woulnd't.

prism Thu 05-Nov-09 16:05:48

That's "wouldn't".

nickelbang Thu 05-Nov-09 16:31:35

it's messy this one.

i would be inclined to say fewer is correct, with the noun going first (one thing fewer to worry about)

but i've just been googling and several grammar sites and opinions seem to disagree.

looks like it could be either, then.

(i know if it's a fraction then it's less (less than 1/3) but i'm not sure where one sits in the argument.

Jacksmama Fri 06-Nov-09 00:09:13

The phrase should be "I couldn't care less". Perhaps Americans think it's energy-saving to leave out a few letters. grin

I love Pedants' Corner.

nickelbang Fri 06-Nov-09 11:27:20

maybe they don't want to offend anyone, so by saying they could care less, means that although they really don't care about this particular thing, there are things that they would care less for.

or "i could care less, but i don't want to, so i'm not going to"

i'm not defending it, though.

i love pedants' corner too grin

Jacksmama Fri 06-Nov-09 14:48:01

<tries to follow nickelbang's reasoning>
<gets lost>

<gets more coffee>

It's only 6:40 am here, I'm not awake enough for logic.


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