August 03, 2007

They'll Do It Every Time

I actually got stuck in the 10 items or "less" line at the soopermarket behind a woman buying, among other things, twelve ears of corn in three bags.

The woman was arguing that all of the corn counted as one item.

The cashier was arguing that each ear counted as a separate item.

Personally, I'd have counted each bag as a separate item, but what do I know?

(BTW, I put "less" in quotation marks because the apparent inability of supposedly educated people to understand the difference between "less" and "fewer" drives me stark-raving batty.)

Posted by Robert at August 3, 2007 02:05 PM | TrackBack

I have to say I'm with you - each bag is one item. If she had three bags of loose greenbeans, each bean wouldn't be an item. (Or maybe it would...if so, I don't want to shop at your store. :) )

Posted by: beth at August 3, 2007 03:19 PM

I'm kind of impressed that the cashier would call someone on being over the limit--though I agree, each bag counts as one item. Not too long ago, I was in the 10 items or fewer line and the guy ahead of me had 24 items. Yes, I counted them. I was in a hurry and furious. When the chap left I posited that he exceeded the legal limit. The cashier just kind of shrugged.

Posted by: Rachel at August 4, 2007 10:47 AM

A six pack is one item right? I would say a dozen ears of corn counts as 1. You punch it in to the computer once.

Posted by: LB Buddy at August 6, 2007 11:11 AM

I'm with the 1 dozen ears of corn is one item crowd, but then in the part of the Midwest I grew up in, you bought a dozen ears at a time. (Why would you want less than 12?) Though I have to admit the last time I went home I did see "half-dozen" bags available.

And Robbo, we live in the digital age where no one thinks along those lines. I suppose you were upset because everyone thought the 20th Century ended with the end of 1999 as well.

The language - in the hands of government schools - is dead. Go to just about any fast-food restaurant and order a "small fry." You will be told something like, "I'm sorry, but 'medium' is the smallest size we have." Compared to that, less or fewer seems almost benign.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at August 7, 2007 07:31 PM