Few could resist my mother and fewer got away with ‘less’

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A WORD IN THE HAND: MOTHER

Few could resist my mother and fewer got away with ‘less’

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Deputy features editor: Sunday Times

Dear readers. I apologise for the absence of this column last week. My mother, Margaret Rose Ryan de Groot, died last Thursday, and although she was old and this event was inevitable, the sudden pall that the death of a loved one casts over one’s consciousness made it impossible to write.

Now that my wits have (sort of) returned, I hope you will forgive a column that is more personal than my usual musings on the vagaries of language. 

Not that it is not about language, mind you. In jotting down memories of my mother’s predilections and peccadilloes, I recalled how annoyed she would get whenever anyone said “less” instead of “fewer”...

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