That’s what I said. I said, “I’ll do Harbrace, Little-Brown, and Strunk & White, but not Google.”
Some background is in order. Mr. Big Food and I had a terrible row this morning. We are in full agreement on noun-pronoun agreement (e.g., “Every child has
their his or her favorite toy”; alt. “All children have their…”). We are in general agreement on the Oxford comma (I allow for one common mistake, he does not). But on the matter of fewer and less, we part company. That’s it! We are on the outs. I’m not speaking to him! “Fewer” is subsumed under “less.” What sort of philosopher gibberish is that? No sir.
So I called Miss M.
As I explained to Miss M., the whole thing started when I commented that the cheery lady on the radio had informed my yesterday that it was National Grammar Day. I remarked that Every Day is National Grammar Day. To which Mr. Big Food replied, “Only you and Margaret think that!” He informed me that the first mistake the radio lady discussed– “accept” vs. “except”– was common among his students. I couldn’t believe it!
Miss M., naturally, agrees with me wholeheartedly, with the provisio that, e.g., “I had apples, pears and grapes for breakfast,” was in fact a mistake no matter what the AP Style Guide says.
One thing led to another and we got on the subject of “than I.” She asked for an example of when “than me” was appropriate. I could think of none. To which she challenged, “It’s a thing. Google it.”
So I eventually did. But first–
For the record:
“His troubles are less than mine” means “His troubles are not so great as mine.” “His troubles are fewer than mine” means ” “His troubles are not so numerous as mine.”
Harbrace: “Fewer refers especially to number. … Less refers especially to value, degree, or amount.”
Little-Brown: Fewer refers to individual countable items (a plural noun), less to general amounts (a singular noun).
I think Horace admires Jessica more than I. | I think Horace admires Jessica more than I do.
Polly loves cake more than me. | Polly loves cake more than she loves me.
Harbrace: “The case of a pronoun after than or as can determine the meaning of a sentence. … She likes Clarice more than I. [subjective, “more than I like Clarice] She likes Clarice more than me. [objective, “more than she likes me]
Top hit for a google search of “than I than me?”
I swear on a stack of grammar books a mile high it goes on like that for 1061 words. In the case of my three sources, what I’ve quoted is about it.
No wonder kids don’t know the difference between “accept” and “except.”