Fewer or Less



So the rule according to Oxford Dictionaries is this:

Use fewer if you’re referring to people or things in the plural (e.g. houses, newspapers, dogs, students, children). For example:

Fewer people are going to theaters these days due to stagnation in Hollywood and the rise of online services prepared to take greater risks creatively and has nothing whatsoever to do with Rotten Tomatoes.

Use less when you’re referring to something that can’t be counted or doesn’t have a plural (e.g. money, air, time, music, rain). For example: 

If you spent less time trying to repeat your past successes and more time coming up with new ideas maybe things would be different.

Remember; not as much = less, not as many = fewer.

Of course, the argument can always be made that language is determined by usage and fewer and less are used interchangeably so often, and have been for many decades, that the smart thing to do is really just to avoid needless headaches and accept it. In which case sorry, Stannis Baratheon, but you’re wrong. Also we were told what a great military leader you were but never saw any evidence of it, so screw you anyway.

“Never saw any evidence of it”

1. Held Storm’s End against all the power of the Reach for a year.

2. Destroyed the Iron Fleet off Fair Isle the first time Balon Greyjoy crowned himself.

3. Took Dragonstone from the Targaryens.

4. Defeated Mance Rayder at the Wall though he had 20 times his numbers.

5. Took Deepwood Motte from the Ironborn.

6. The Northern Mountain Clans, House Mormont and House Glover joined his cause with many other petty houses.

And you told me he is not a great military leader?

We’re told about some of these things, but what we actually see (in the TV show), is him directly assaulting King’s Landing, a huge fortified city, with some ladders and a battering ram. He does defeat the wildlings, although they were unprepared and far less well equipped than his army (how’d they manage to let heavy cavalry sneak up on them anyway?) He then manages to let Ramsay sneak into his camp and set fire to it, but even with most his men deserting him he continues to march on Winterfell and what exactly was his plan there?

Of course, this is all about the TV show and a lot of it can be put down to limitations in time and budget. In the books he does come across as far more competent (for example going to get the support of other houses before attacking Winterfell).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.