A Short Note on Grammar

In the last three hours I’ve encountered 11 instances of two of my biggest grammatical pet peeves.  I have many grammar peeves, but these two are in the top five, and so I seek to correct them here in the hopes that perhaps one person will read this and stop committing these offenses.

1) “Over” and “more than” are not interchangeable. 

“Over” pertains to spatial relations, while “more than” relates to numbers.  So, you can fly over the Pacific Ocean, but you cannot have over 40 pairs of shoes.  However, you can have more than 40 pairs of shoes (and I suggest that you do). 

And if you need more evidence that these words should not be used interchangeably, consider this: people frequently use “over” where they mean “more than,” but I’ve never seen anyone use “more than” where they mean “over.”  For example, “I flew more than the Pacific Ocean.”  It doesn’t work. 

2) Company names are singular and should not be referred to with plural pronouns. 

For example, “Neiman Marcus has a beautiful store, and I especially enjoy their shoe department.”  Wrong.  This is the correct version:  “Neiman Marcus is a beautiful store, and I especially enjoy its shoe department.”

I understand the impulse–it’s associating a company with its people, but that doesn’t make the usage correct.  Singular nouns get singular pronouns!

Well, enough on grammar–it’s more than 70 degrees outside, and I’d like to head to Town Square Las Vegas to enjoy its outdoor shopping environment in this excellent weather.  😉


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