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Thread: fewer no less

  1. #1
    RobMasters is offline Junior Member
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    Default fewer no less

    "He had managed to condense the entire saga into fewer than 500 words, no less."

    Please comment.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: fewer no less

    It's redundant. Stop the sentence after "words."

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: fewer no less

    [QUOTE=RobMasters;840097]

    Please comment.


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Personally, I like it.

    (2) It means (to me) something like:

    He had managed to condense the entire saga into fewer than 500 words,

    believe it or not. / even though it's hard to believe./ I'm telling the

    truth about his accomplishment./ Wow!

  4. #4
    RobMasters is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: fewer no less

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    It's redundant. Stop the sentence after "words."
    Not so. The thrust is that this is an exceptional accomplishment, as conveyed the the hugely-necessary non-redundant emphasis of "no less", without which the entire meaning would be lost.

  5. #5
    RobMasters is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: fewer no less

    [QUOTE=TheParser;840100]
    Quote Originally Posted by RobMasters View Post

    Please comment.


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Personally, I like it.

    (2) It means (to me) something like:

    He had managed to condense the entire saga into fewer than 500 words,

    believe it or not. / even though it's hard to believe./ I'm telling the

    truth about his accomplishment./ Wow!
    Quite so, my boy.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: fewer no less

    Quote Originally Posted by RobMasters View Post
    Not so. The thrust is that this is an exceptional accomplishment, as conveyed the the hugely-necessary non-redundant emphasis of "no less", without which the entire meaning would be lost.
    Well, OK then. I didn't notice that you were a native speaker when I critiqued your work.

    I would say "He had managed to condense the entire saga into 500 words, no less" if the point was to emphasize the feat.

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: fewer no less

    Quote Originally Posted by RobMasters View Post
    Not so. The thrust is that this is an exceptional accomplishment, as conveyed by/through the the hugely-necessary non-redundant emphasis of "no less", without which the entire meaning would be lost.
    If this was in your mind when you created the sentence, why did you ask us to comment?
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  8. #8
    RobMasters is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: fewer no less

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    If this was in your mind when you created the sentence, why did you ask us to comment?
    Why do you assume I created it? I read this in a novel today it made me do a double-take. It just felt wrong somehow - it didn't flow and brought me (the reader) to a halt until I realised the import. I wondered how others would perceive it.

  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: fewer no less

    The problem with the sentence is that while "no less!" can be used to highlight an accomplishment, placing it directly after a numeral makes the reader feel that it relates to that number, not the task itself.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #10
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: fewer no less

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    The problem with the sentence is that while "no less!" can be used to highlight an accomplishment, placing it directly after a numeral makes the reader feel that it relates to that number, not the task itself.
    Yes, that's it! To make logical/mathematical sense, it should say "500, no more."

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