Today at LSE library, I noticed an advertisement at the inside of a toilet door (the location might have been a foreboding) for a company that offers proofreading services: “Less Silly Errors: Proofreaders of Academic Essays”:
Obviously, this company wanted to profit from the aura of somehow being associated with the abbreviation “LSE” but if you are trying to sell your expertise as a proofreader, this is a company name gone badly wrong.
“Less” is used when referring to something that cannot be counted (unless measured in units) or doesn’t have a plural. “Fewer” is used for nouns in the plural.
Examples: I spend less time on the internet than before and have to deal with fewer e-mails than I used to. – I have less money now than when I used to work as a lawyer but I also have fewer sleepless nights.
“Errors” can obviously be counted, so it should read “Fewer Silly Errors“. The abbreviation “FSE” wouldn’t associate the company with the London School of Economics, but with Feline Spongiform Encephalopathy, which might be more appropriate.
I recommend this company for a prize for “Maximum Incompetence already displayed in the Company Name“.
If you want serious academic writing, proofreading or editing, you do better to e-mail me for a quote.
(In the interest of journalistic fairness, I have contacted “Less Silly Errors” and invited them to comment. They responded by asking me if I want to work for them. I declined.
But three years later, in June 2014, I got this message from “Less Silly Errors”:
I assume Matt heard about the ECJ’s ruling on “the right to be forgotten”, not that it applies in this case because he is still using the same company name, so nothing is outdated or obsolete. – In any case, so far he hasn’t made any offer yet which I couldn’t refuse.)