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Re: precedence for ReplaceAll?

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  • Subject: [mg110742] Re: precedence for ReplaceAll?
  • From: "David Park" <djmpark at>
  • Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2010 03:09:51 -0400 (EDT)

I seem to recall that many years ago when I attended MIT there were two
supermarkets. One was close to Harvard Square and its speed checkout counter
had a sign saying "10 or fewer items". The second was closer to MIT and its
speed checkout sign said "10 items or less".

But both counters were always crammed with customers with many more that 10
items. Upon investigation it turned out that the MIT students couldn't read
and the Harvard students couldn't count.

(Of course, I was told that story. I didn't actually read the signs myself!)

David Park
djmpark at  

From: Bill Rowe [mailto:readnews at] 

>(And to illustrate this point, for purists the first word in your
>quoted excerpt above would have to be "fewer" rather than "less" --
>right? "Fewer" for countables, "less" for uncountables.)

The language for my response is English. And it seems to me if I
had written a complete sentence, either

There are fewer than 5000 things


There are less than 5000 things

would be equally correct.

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