This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

More or less: a rant.

Confuse more and less?
Yes, I would have thought it was difficult.

I don't know, though, these arithmetical ideas are always tripping people up. Perhaps people can't do sums and speak at the same time. And vice versa.

It would explain a lot.
Anyway. How about:


Now, I think this is an attempt to say that items are to be sold at less than half price.

Except, of course, in that case the reduction is actually more than half of the price.

I have seen signs recently, though, that copywriters (who are the people who write advertisements) have woken up to the difficulties of more and less.

Now they've started trying to tempt us with BETTER THAN HALF PRICE.
But better for whom? We are forced to ask. The buyer or the seller?
Ah well. At least they seem to have stopped telling us their prices are more than reasonable
Word To Use Today: value. This word is from the French word valoir and before that the Latin val─ôre, to be worth or to be strong.


  1. I've seen quite a few examples of "Up to Half Price Sale!" too. Which makes me think that half price is going to be the absolute highest they charge - but alas, no.

    I find it impossible to remember whether a large-scale map is a map that shows a large amount of land per square inch, or a map that uses a large amount of paper to show a small amount of space. Even as I write this, both seem equally plausible.

  2. Hey, you're right, Charlie: both ARE equally plausible, now I come to think about it.

    Or it could be one drawn on dragon skin, I suppose...