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Less is more

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by valed, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Funny how things work out but a colleague was asking me how to use Date calculations in Excel to calculate averages over time.....
    I thought of TES Maths and the rate that posters post ......
    My little effort tells me that I post at a rate of 0.6 posts per day [since joining].
    Tandy is tight-lipped at only 0.2 !
    And a certain other poster is at 10.6 !!!!!
    Blimey! [​IMG]
     
  2. Funny how things work out but a colleague was asking me how to use Date calculations in Excel to calculate averages over time.....
    I thought of TES Maths and the rate that posters post ......
    My little effort tells me that I post at a rate of 0.6 posts per day [since joining].
    Tandy is tight-lipped at only 0.2 !
    And a certain other poster is at 10.6 !!!!!
    Blimey! [​IMG]
     
  3. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter

    Wowser! I didn't know I was that prolific!
     
  4. It's only an average, old boy
    You did have your days, long ago ...
     
  5. tigdas

    tigdas New commenter

    I skulk around the forum quite alot, and contribute little, but have been amazed at the length of some threads (spindles maybe?) and how the tone of some of them has been brought down so far from how informative and discursive many of them once were.
    More to the point, what's happened to MathsMike and has his problem resolved? His contributions were always so salient.
     
  6. Not to disagree with the title.
    Anyone got a quick way to remember when to use less, and when to use fewer?

    Like a car with fewer emissions? Or lower emissions?
     
  7. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    Not sure if this is the quick one you're after, pipipi, but I think of a 'few items'. These are countable, so it's few rather than less.
    I also use a salt analogy when explaining to kids - 'fewer grains of salt results in less salt.' is the sentence that seems to get through to some.
     
  8. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Less is continuous, fewer is discrete. Not sure of a better way to remember than AJ's suggestion below.
    That would be lower given that emissions would be measured.
    I remember because of the uproar about the "5 items or less" queues in supermarkets many years ago. No-one seems to care anymore [​IMG]
     
  9. less water in the glass
    fewer children in the classroom
    as i cannot chop children up into as small pieces as i might like
    numbers are always 'less' because the number line is continuous
    emissions, like temperature, are lower or higher - and that is a different story
    m&s and, i think, waitrose, have 'x items or fewer' queues
    i love teaching my kids to be pedants - but i do warn them that they must be superior only in their secret souls and not sniff at others less well-taught [​IMG]
     
  10. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    In most cases "fewer" is used with countable items and "less" with an amount. There are issues here, though.
    Why are there fewer words for "more" than there are for "not as many/much"?
    In some cases we use "less" when the situation is debatable: Eg "I am earning less than I did last year" means that we are treating money as being continuous rather than discrete.
    I think the best way to remember it is, as has already been mentioned, the supermarkets get it wrong with "10 items or less".
     
  11. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    Still around but have not posted in a while - nothing really has grabbed my attention and I did not want to get involved in some of the threads!

    Re my problem NOTHING further to report - she hasnt even spoken to me since!

    So just keeping my head down and see what happens!!
     
  12. DM

    DM New commenter

    Nice to see you lurking anyway Mike.
     
  13. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Fair enough!
    Good to hear that things are quieter. And good to hear from you, too - we have been hoping everything is OK.
     
  14. nice to know you're around [​IMG]
     
  15. Nice to know you're around Mike, even if you're posting fewer.
    Posting less sounds better than me, but if you can count the posts...
     
  16. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I suppose we say posting less based on posting being measured by amount of time doing it.
    Good to hear from you Mike. Glad to hear that things have calmed down but I'm sure you would be happier if the air was cleared.
     
  17. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    Hi Mike - I think several folk, including myself, have been posting less (fewer posts!) while the fur was flying. Glad it has settled down a bit now - I love this forum and have learnt a huge amount from the wisdom and generosity of many on here.
     
  18. DM

    DM New commenter

    Someone may be counting his discrete chickens before they have hatched.
     
  19. Andrew Jeffrey

    Andrew Jeffrey New commenter

    I hope not, DM. I don't want to end up with less - er, fewer chickens... ;-)
     
  20. Funnily enough i was about to say that Waitrose and, i think, M&S use the word fewer. Must be where the pedants shop
     

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