fewer and fewer
Some regard the use of the determiner less with quantities to be incorrect, stating that less should indicate only a reduction in size or significance, leaving fewer to indicate a smaller quantity:
- Their troubles are fewer than ours, meaning "Their troubles are not so numerous as ours."
- Their troubles are less than ours, meaning "Their troubles are not so great as ours."
In typical usage this distinction is absent, and less has been widely understood and commonly used as a synonym for fewer since it first appeared in Old English as læs.