Friday, February 17, 2012

Not over, more than

More than a zillion dead mozzies.

"For over 30 years ... "
"Over 12 people attended ..."
NO. NO. NO.
It's "for MORE THAN 30 years ..." and "More than 12 people attended ..."
"Over" means on top of. It is NOT interchangeable with "more than."
It is one of my pet peeves and I see it ALL the time at my job at the newspaper. I can almost forgive seeing it used by ad reps and clients who aren't Grammar Nazis like some of us. I can even forgive rookie reporters for the faux pas.
This week the camel's back got busted right in two when I was working with a letter from David C. Onley, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Queen's representative in this province, one of the top jobs in this whole country. If anyone should know the Queen's English, it's the Lieutenant Governor, am I right?
You'd think so.
But there it was. "For over ..."
Granted, he probably didn't write the letter himself. Some office hack did it, I'm sure. Still. I expected more.
And so it was with a heavy heart and a red pen that I changed the grammar of one of the province's Biggest Cheeses.
What, I ask, would the world do without me?


20 comments:

  1. This reminds me of my irritation at the use of "on top of" instead of "in addition" or "as well as" or just plain "and". English majors, anyone?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, I've used "on top of." I AM SO SORRY AUSTAN!

      Delete
  2. Uh oh...I think I may be guilty. That will keep me on my game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (I am guilty of so much more, Delores, you wouldn't believe it .... or maybe you would.)

      Delete
  3. I have probably made the mistake over a bazillion times. Damnit...a bazillion and one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HARRY! So good to see you. It's been over a month and you're still a funny, funny guy!

      Delete
  4. Cathy, I've been a teacher for over 30 years. I know a preposition when I see one, and I've been overly negligent. Thank you for the reminder!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You tell 'em, Grammar Nazi!

    *Alan quickly re-reads his "Letter to a Friend" contribution to see if he used the expression FOR OVER*

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm probably guilty of all of the above...and I WAS an English major. *hangs head* I'm quite entrenched in American slang, much to the disgust of Grammar Nazis everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am, too, Laura. Seriously. I make more grammatical mistakes than anybody. But for some reason "over" makes me nuts.

      Delete
  7. You should mail him a copy corrected in red ink.

    I'm wondering now if I've ever said "For over..." It sounds odd to my ears, but I haven't really thought about it before now. Thanks for the grammar ear tweak. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would never say "over," Laurita. You are my Grammar Idol. I have you on my fridge, remember?

      Delete
  8. Blogger was being recalcitrant yesterday and would not let me comment no matter how many times I tried. Today it is being better behaved.

    Pedants rule. (Or should.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *off to look up pedant in the dictionary*
      I LOVE the word recalcitrant, btw. Way to throw in a cool word, EC!
      (stoooopid Blogger)

      Delete
    2. And it all becomes clear:

      pedant |ˈpednt|
      noun
      a person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning.
      DERIVATIVES
      pedantry |-trē| noun
      ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from French pédant, from Italian pedante, perhaps from the first element of Latin paedagogus (see pedagogue ).

      Delete
    3. recalcitrant |riˈkalsətrənt|
      adjective
      having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority or discipline : a class of recalcitrant fifteen-year-olds.
      noun
      a person with such an attitude.

      ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Latin recalcitrant- ‘screwing up everyone's comments,’ from the blog-hosting site blogcalcitrare, based on a really fecked up commenting system, like Larry King after a bender

      Delete
  9. Never mind who or what is on top; please tell me where I can get one of those awesome mossie catchers.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debi! That one worked OK but it wasn't as good as the Mosquito Magnet we bought last summer. We got it from a guy who lives on our road. He fixes and sells them. He actually fixed up one of my mom's that had been broken since they moved to Haliburton. He has a business called Mod Tech.

      That thing of ours has made it possible to sit outside in the summer. Amazing death ray to all mozzies.

      Delete

How's it going, eh? It's SO good to hear from you. Tell me every darn thing...