“Less Delays”

Does no-one speak English any more?

In Leicester Square station last night I saw a Transport for London poster that proudly declared that the work they are currently doing on the network will lead to “less delays”.

Do they mean “less delay”? Or perhaps “fewer delays”?

I wonder how many people approved that copy. And none of them knew the difference between a mass noun and a count noun.


  1. Heh. I saw a Sara Lee delivery truck the other day with a “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee” slogan on the side. Grammatically correct or not, the double negation just jumps out and stabs me in the eye.

  2. I don’t like Sara Lee, she’s a silly cow!

    Much as I come down hard on grammar problems, I’m pretty relaxed about less vs fewer, because I don’t think it makes any difference. I can’t think of an example where using “less” instead of “fewer” could lead to a lack of clarity or a misunderstanding. (This is your cue to find such an example, folks!)

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