Member Tips: Word Trippers

writingIntroducing a series of tips to help you strengthen your writing. Local First member Barbara McNichol Editorial will offer this regular post called Word Trippers. Word trippers are pairs of words folks often confuse or use incorrectly. This series is excerpted from Word Trippers The Ultimate Source for Choosing the Perfect Word When It Really Matters by Barbara McNichol. Number, amount – You’ve likely heard people say, “Consider the amount of dollars it takes...” or “the amount of stores we have is less than our competitors’ stores.” In both phrases, the word “number” should be used instead of “amount” and “fewer” should be used instead of “less.”

Here’s the rule: If you can quantify the noun (that means count the objects), use “number” or “fewer.” So, the correct phrases are “Consider the number of dollars it takes ...” and “the number of stores we have is fewer than our competitors’ stores.”

BMcNicholAs an expert editor of articles, books, and marketing materials, Barbara McNichol enjoys helping business people add power to their pens through her writing skills Wordshops. For details on How to Strengthen EVERYTHING You Write Wordshops, call 520-615-7910 or email [email protected]