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Profile: Gonzalo
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User Name: Gonzalo
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Joined: Monday, August 16, 2010
Last Visit: Monday, August 23, 2010 1:38:03 PM
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: "Less" vs. "Fewer"
Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 1:04:51 AM
If you walk into a Supermarket that has an "Express Lane" and will have a sign that says, for example, "15 items or less." But a friend of mine told me many years ago that the correct way to say it was, "15 items or fewer."

Mathematically speaking, the word "fewer" is more appropriate because it means "smaller number of persons or things" whereas "less" provides an unlimited range of answers: "Less than 15" may mean either 14, 12.3, 6.666, -2.2, .... etc.

After all these years I have yet to come across a sign that says, "15 items or fewer." Has somebody seen one? and, does it really matter now?

And God said, "Let E=mc²," and there was light.
Topic: What is the opposite of procrastination?
Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 2:28:41 AM
A few years ago, while I was taking an English class, the instructor assigned us a homework which was to write an essay about a person we know and describe his/her main virtue.

Well, my father was a model of "anti-procrastination". His motto was, "everything has to be done now!" So I decided to write about him and his "gift". But I got stuck trying to find a word that means the opposite of procrastination. The closest I could find was 'promptitud', but even that one felt it was not close enough. Any suggestions?

And God said, "Let E=mc²," and there was light.
Topic: Advertising slogans
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 5:53:23 PM
I remember when I was a kid there was a TV commercial about a toothpaste (I believe it was Colgate) who end up with a catchy jingle. It was something like, " ... with hexa hexa hexachlorophene." At the end, my dad used to ask, "what the hell is 'hexachlorophene'?" Since there was no chemistry expert around to answer his question, we assumed that it was a good product with a fancy name. Ironically, a few years later that substance was withdrawn because it was suspicious to be a cancer causing agent. So much for a fancy name

And God said, "Let E=mc²," and there was light.
Topic: Advertising slogans
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 12:45:58 PM
Thanks for the info. Yes, this might not be the first time this topic is addressed. But I wonder if these and other slogans were already part of our vernacular or the creation of some savvy advertisers. I might be wrong, but I don't recall hearing the phrase "new and improved" a few decades ago.

What I understand is that the word "FREE" is one of the most used and abused words in publicity. The word is the best "eye-catcher" there is. You will always see it written in big, tall, bold letters. Maybe the word "SALE" comes in second.

And God said, "Let E=mc²," and there was light.
Topic: Advertising slogans
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 1:47:32 PM
There are some phrases commonly used in advertisement; but with grammatically questionable meaning:

1. The most common I hear is "The New and Improved..." How can something be "new" and "improved" at the same time?

2. Another one is "It comes with a Free Gift." Aren't all gifts free?

3. Similarly, "It is a True Fact" Well, if it's not true, then it is not a fact.

4. Finally, "This product is Very Unique" Either something is "unique" or "not unique", why is the "very" added?

There are probably some more phrases out there which I would love to see.

And God said, "Let E=mc²," and there was light.

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