People unfortunate enough to find themselves in a queue with me in Tesco may find the experience a little less irritating in future. For years now, I have been seething, and not altogether silently, about the checkout signs that read, “Ten items or less”; even before I’d ever heard of Lynne Truss, I’ve been sorely tempted, on countless occasions, to help myself to a Tesco-branded blue marker pen from their shelves, colour in the “less”, then use Tesco-branded correction fluid to scrawl “fewer” over it. And yes, it would only have been to make me feel better. Cheerfully, Tesco have finally woken up to this error and have agreed to alter the wording – and for that they should be (grudgingly) congratulated; but this decision was only made after the Plain English Campaign (the scourge of all wafflers, so that’s me blacklisted) suggested “Up to ten items” as an alternative. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but “up to ten items” doesn’t actually mean you can have as many as ten items in your basket, unless the word “allowed” (or similar) is placed on the end. What I really want to know is, what on earth was wrong with simply changing “less” to “fewer”? Was it so that the clueless, illiterate muppet who sanctioned millions of pounds’ worth of grammatically incorrect till signage could be let off the hook? The punters demand answers. And Clubcard bonus points.
2 thoughts on “The End Of An Error…”
You need to meet my Dad and one of my mates, Cha: Pedantor The Angry and Hostile The Literate, respectively. Brilliant stuff.