Scaramouche Fandango

Slavoj Zizek says there are two kinds of idiot. There's the idiot who doesn't understand that 'How are you?' is a greeting not a question, and the idiot who can't grasp that it's an arbitrary convention that it isn't a question.

The one lacks commonsense, the other has only commonsense. The first doesn't get people, the second doesn't get reality.

Well, I suggest that there are two kind of fools on youtube. The ones who treat disagreement as a personal attack, and the ones who expect them to grow the fuck up.

Which is which in this discussion about the film '30 Minutes or Less'?

zomgomgomgz: "It is customary to use the word less to describe time, money, and distance" Less is correct.

andymc24: Customary does not mean correct. When describing discrete units such as 'bananas' or 'minutes', FEWER should always be used, and widespread improper usage of the language, like how people say 'should of' rather than 'should have' may make something customary, but still not correct. Put simply, the title could either be "30 minutes or fewer" or "30 minutes or less time", but you can't have "less minutes".

kapstuf: "Customary does not mean correct."

Then how else can we define what's correct? Unless you think there's one person somewhere whose speech defines correct usage for the rest of us.

'Less' is used for mass and unit nouns, 'Fewer' only for unit. You might not *like* how people speak their own language, but that speech defines the language. You may as well say the economy's misbehaving because it's not doing what an economist said it would.

andymc24: if your niggle is with the word customar (which is not synonymous with 'correct') then let's change it. My objection is with the underlying point that just because something is widespread does not make it correct. For example, people regularly use the indicative mood instead of the subjunctive mood when describing hypothetical situations, but it is still wrong. "Even if it WAS me that took the cookie"... No, it should be WERE, but people don't care. Anyway. It's fewer.

kapstuf: Your point was already clear, and incoherent. Prescriptivist grammar relies on the alleged authority of a small group of speakers to assert that *their* grammatical dialect defines the one true version of the language.

Please post the source of your authority. Pointing to the work of previous prescriptivists and calling them 'authoritative' is obviously circular reasoning.

BTW, the term 'subjunctive' has four separate meanings, and your use in 2nd conditionals is a marker of social class.

andymc24: Ok you're clearly trolling. I know what prescriptivist means, what I'm saying is that if something is done incorrectly by many people for a period of time it may begin to be generally considered as fine, such as people saying 'If I was you' instead of 'If I were you' (see aforementioned subjunctive mood, maybe you need to look it up). But nonetheless it's lazy and wrong. If everybody started raping each other and rape became legal, would it be any less of an imposition on human rights?

kapstuf: "But nonetheless it's lazy and wrong"

What makes it wrong? That's the central question you can't answer.

"If everybody started raping each other and rape became legal, would it be any less of an imposition on human rights?"

And you accuse *me* of trolling? For the record, you're comparing a usage definition of grammatical correctness with ethical solipsism.

Do I actually have to explain to you the fact/value distinction? Or the difference between nonfoundationalism and irrationalism?

andymc24: and where did i point to the work of previous prescriptivists? and what social class would that be? AND why would that matter? You're clearly one of those idiots who is faaaar too passive aggressive with other youtube users because you're not speaking to them in person, it' weak. We're done here, expect no replies. And it's fewer.

kapstuf: When you're capable of presenting evidence for your received opinion, instead of shouting rude names at those of us who dare to know better than you, you'll be ready to join the grownups.


I won't lie. It feels good to explain to an imbicile just why they're an imbicile. Unfortunately, they're an imbicile, so they can't understand it. But Zizek does suggest a word for someone who lacks the pigheadedness that defines the willfully ignorant: Bicile.

So I suggest the word for the process of joining the minority for who the brain is not a withered vestigal appendage: Bicilation.

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