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Weight: or less / or fewer


#1

What is considered to be correct usage of the English language?
a) I can bring 23 kilogram per suitcase.
b) I can bring 23 kilograms per suitcase.

and

c) Each suitcase needs to weigh 23 kilogram or less.
d) Each suitcase needs to weigh 23 kilogram or fewer.
e) Each suitcase needs to weigh 23 kilograms or less.
f) Each suitcase needs to weigh 23 kilograms or fewer.

Currently my preferred way of writing this, is considered to be incorrect. I would choose options b and e.


(Mike Unwalla) #2

@alexb ,

How does your question relate to the use of LanguageTool? (This forum is for questions about LT, not questions about English usage.)


#3

Well, I tried to cover that already by writing "is considered to be incorrect". This forum is about LT, so I would think "... to be incorrect according to LT" was redundant.

LT is telling me "23 kilograms or less" may be incorrect. Kilograms is countable, so I should use "or fewer".
When I write "23 kilogram or less", then there is no complaint.
But when I write "I can bring 23 kilogram per suitcase", then LT is telling me I may want to use kilograms.

Try it yourself on https://languagetool.org/

There seems to be some kind of inconsistency. I'm sorry I cannot be more specific; English is not my native language and I only recently discovered LT.


(Lodewijk Arie van Brienen) #4

the singular (to my knowledge) should only be used as part of an adjective.
"23 kilogram or less" can be used as such. EG: "All we need now is a 23 kilogram or less rod."


(Mike Unwalla) #5

Thanks for your report.

I misunderstood your initial comment to mean "is considered incorrect by some people".

LT gives incorrect warnings. I added the problem to my list of tasks.
Correct warning for 'kilogram': I can bring 23 kilogram per suitcase.
Incorrect warning for 'less': I can bring 23 kilograms or less per suitcase.
False negative for 'kilogram': I can bring 23 kilogram or less per suitcase.

In regard to your initial post, I agree with @SkyCharger001. Here are some additional references :
* Option b is correct in both British English and American English. Refer to section 9.2 in https://www.nist.gov/pml/nist-guide-si-chapter-9-rules-and-style-conventions-spelling-unit-names.
* Option e is correct. Refer to https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/usage/less-or-fewer.