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An Ankoù

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Fewer, An Ankoù, fewer.
Did you know that, on average, human bodies have fewer than one head per body, if you include Charles I.
Thank you Rodj. Wouldn't fewer than two be one, while less than two is anything up to but not including two? Similarly "less" then one head, as fewer than one would be zero heads?
 

Rodj

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Does "fewer" necessarily imply only integers? I'm a bit stuck on that, but maybe you have a good point. It's rather early in the day, but I'm going to have to lubricate my grey cell with alcohol so that it may have a chance of turning this over. Good thinking from you, regardless. Keep it up. (I mean the thinking.)
 

merrydown

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I totally agree with Dexter - though I have trouble following the advice - attempt moderation and enjoy life while you have it.

From what I have read, it seems that the difference in cancer risk stated was only ever very marginal and for a limited number of cancers, mainly lower bowel. They still haven't really differentiated in their study between high fat and low fat and between highly processed and unprocessed or minced meats, or between any of the different sorts of red meats.

It sems to me that the main change is that they are saying now that it's not such a significant or thoroughly enough proven link to warrant a change in lifestyle. I know if I eat beef or pork I stay more satisfied and gain less weight than if I eat only white meat and fish, so whack another shoulder on the smoker please:D
 

Rodj

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Did you know that, on average, humans have less than two legs?
Fewer, An Ankoù, fewer.
Did you know that, on average, human bodies have fewer than one head per body, if you include Charles I.
Thank you Rodj. Wouldn't fewer than two be one, while less than two is anything up to but not including two? Similarly "less" then one head, as fewer than one would be zero heads?
Does "fewer" necessarily imply only integers? I'm a bit stuck on that, but maybe you have a good point. It's rather early in the day, but I'm going to have to lubricate my grey cell with alcohol so that it may have a chance of turning this over. Good thinking from you, regardless. Keep it up. (I mean the thinking.)
I've reached an internal deadlock on this, An Ankoù - even after temporarily abandoning a bedtime session with Granny Weatherwax for twenty minutes in order to ponder it. It may well be that you are right and I am wrong, in which case that's worth at least one decent beer that I owe you if ever we meet.
I can't think of any satisfactory example of using "fewer than" where it refers to anything other than integers, so the next step is try it t'other way 'bout.
If I have four apples and give one apple to you, I then have three apples, and I definitely have fewer apples than before. However, suppose I have four apples and I give half an apple to you. Do I then have fewer apples than before, or do I have less apples than before (or both, or neither)?
Comments (from you or from anyone)?
 

An Ankoù

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You guys are something else. Your discussion is getting beyond silly. Posts #21 and #24
On the contrary davidfromus. Careless words cost lives, don't you know.
Do I then have fewer apples than before, or do I have less apples than before (or both, or neither)?
Comments (from you or from anyone)?
Very interesting example. I shall ponder this matter while driving home. Looking forward to sharing a pint or ten, regardless.
 

Rodcx500z

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So anything not in original form (ie processed) can now be eaten, pass the corn flakes and Weetabix athumb..
 

Spratt

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I've reached an internal deadlock on this, An Ankoù - even after temporarily abandoning a bedtime session with Granny Weatherwax for twenty minutes in order to ponder it. It may well be that you are right and I am wrong, in which case that's worth at least one decent beer that I owe you if ever we meet.
I can't think of any satisfactory example of using "fewer than" where it refers to anything other than integers, so the next step is try it t'other way 'bout.
If I have four apples and give one apple to you, I then have three apples, and I definitely have fewer apples than before. However, suppose I have four apples and I give half an apple to you. Do I then have fewer apples than before, or do I have less apples than before (or both, or neither)?
Comments (from you or from anyone)?
I was always taught that if you can count them, whether they be whole numbers or even fractions then it is "fewer than", otherwise it's "less than".

So you would have..... "There were fewer cows in the field because there was less grass for them to eat"
 

Chippy_Tea

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Hmm.
Now does that mean not too many or not too much?
I will let Collins English dictionary speak for me -
If you say that someone does something such as eat, drink, or smoke in moderation, you mean that they do not eat, smoke, or drink too much or more than is reasonable.
Many adults are able to drink in moderation, but others become dependent on alcohol.
Fats and oils can be used in moderation.
Synonyms: moderately, within reason, within limits, within bounds More Synonyms of in moderation
 

Dexter101

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Dexter101, I've wondered on several occasions: who is the young lady in your avatar? (And why?) She really looks rather dishy, or at least she would if we had a proper full-size pic of her. Any chance of getting her to let you put one in a thread here?
The interest is, of course, purely artistic, prompted by my hobby-involvement in photography.
Apologies, i like surfing and this was a picture i was thinking of having as a tattoo many years ago. Never happened so became my online picture. She will have aged a bit like me but still loves surfing...
 

Rodj

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I was always taught that if you can count them, whether they be whole numbers or even fractions then it is "fewer than", otherwise it's "less than".
I fully understand and sympathise with the principle you were taught, Spratt: "fewer" refers to numbers, "less" refers to quantities. (And thanks for joining the discussion.)
Nonetheless, the cows were (presumably) integral. If "fewer" is used with a fraction, as in the apples example, it just plain feels wrong.
I'm wondering whether perhaps this is a simply weakness in our language. It may be the richest language in the world, but that does not mean that it is complete or fully evolved. Perhaps a third word is needed.
I'm not a linguist (far from it), but I've learned that one of the best ways of understanding how your own language works is to learn a different one, preferably a very different one. If there are any linguists reading this thread, would they care to comment on how other languages handle these situations? (It's not only words and grammar, it's also punctuation: I've also learned that some languages have punctuation marks which our English lacks, and which would be useful if we were to have them.)
 

Rodj

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this was a picture i was thinking of having as a tattoo many years ago.
When i say many, i am only 31...
Thanks Dexter; kelper told me she's not real (bitter disappointment there).
However, you're 31 and you were thinking of having a tattoo many years ago?!? Don't do it, lad. Just suppose you had had the girl emblazoned all over you, and you had then decided to marry a blonde...
 

Dexter101

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Thanks Dexter; kelper told me she's not real (bitter disappointment there).
However, you're 31 and you were thinking of having a tattoo many years ago?!? Don't do it, lad. Just suppose you had had the girl emblazoned all over you, and you had then decided to marry a blonde...
Exactly the reason I never got any tattoos. Couldn't be sure I would appreciate the design in years to come.
 

Spratt

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That's what my Latin master used to try to persuade me when I moaned to him about the uselessness of learning a dead language.

I used to be quite particular about language, ticking off my children for saying "fed up of..." instead of "fed up with" and explaining to them that there was a perfectly good English word for the Americanisms that they used, spanner instead of wrench, envisage instead of envision and so on. But now I just accept that as long as some-one can just about understand what I'm saying and vice versa, that's good enough for me.

David
 

johncrobinson

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"All that is born to live is born to die." (johncrobinson from the year dot.)

The trick is to enjoy life.!!
 

An Ankoù

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I've reached an internal deadlock on this, An Ankoù - even after temporarily abandoning a bedtime session with Granny Weatherwax for twenty minutes in order to ponder it. It may well be that you are right and I am wrong, in which case that's worth at least one decent beer that I owe you if ever we meet.
I can't think of any satisfactory example of using "fewer than" where it refers to anything other than integers, so the next step is try it t'other way 'bout.
If I have four apples and give one apple to you, I then have three apples, and I definitely have fewer apples than before. However, suppose I have four apples and I give half an apple to you. Do I then have fewer apples than before, or do I have less apples than before (or both, or neither)?
Comments (from you or from anyone)?
Thank you Rodj. I had lost the thread of this thread. It seems to me that, in your example, you would have fewer apples as half an apple isn't an apple. However you would have less fruit. Similarly, if we go out and you have 6 pints and I have 5 pints and finish with a half, then I've had fewer pints and less beer than you but I haven't had fewer drinks.
 
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