Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Not as much hedgehogs

On the RSPB's website there's this rather charming text (emphasis mine):
Many of us feel there are fewer bumblebees bumbling around our flowerbeds, less sparrows flitting between our gardens and not as many hedgehogs sniffing around our green spaces. 
We might also add 'not as much' to complete the set.

Of course, a pedant would say that less is ungrammatical for a countable noun like sparrows, and that both ought to be fewer. Similarly, it would be 'wrong' to say not as much if it were followed by something like hedgehogs, but in this paragraph it provides a nice variety in the expression used.

1 comment:

  1. If I were editing the text I'd replace the 'less' with 'fewer', but I don't consider it ungrammatical (I have a post on this in the works). It is slightly surprising, though. If I were shown the text with the bold terms obscured, and told that one of them was 'less', I'd have guessed it was before 'bumblebees', since bees seem more easily conceived of as a mass entity than do sparrows or hedgehogs.