Odds and Ends

Dear Editor:

April 2, 2021

Recent polls suggest that voters are not as concerned about the religion of presidential candidates as formerly, but they are not as forgiving when they perceive a lack of it..

On Oct. 30, 1943, the U.S. navy officially announced the sinking of a Japanese sub off Cape Addington near Amchitka. I’ve been skeptical.(Spirit, “Historic Ketchikan.”)

An iconic WWII photo showed several G.I.s peeling potatoes with paring knives. I’ve often wondered how many tons could have been saved if those men had been using razor-sharp modern devices.

Nationally, child care costs are a crippling burden on parents. In 2019 they averaged between $9’000 and $9,600 annually, according to the organization Child Care Aware. (“Time,” Oct. 21-28, 190

Charter schools on average do not produce higher test results than public schools, and in some states like Ohio and Nevada charters dominate the states’ lists of lowest-performing schools. (Diane Ravitch, “Time,” 2-17-20)

In 2017 a Michigan woman was convicted of murdering her husband after Bud, her pet gray African parrot, overheard and kept repeating her words, Don’t shoot!’ (“Time,” 10-19-20)

Confused about the use of “less” and “fewer”? Maybe I can help. It’s a matter of language precision, not a hard and fast rule of grammar. Use “less” with most SINGULAR objects or entities. as in “less food or air or money, and “fewer” in PLURAL objects or things, as in “fewer roses or marbles or cars.” The same applies to “number” and “amount.” Thus, ” a number of visitors or eggs or calories,” and “an amount of water or pollution or flour.” I hope I haven’t confused anyone and it’s a good place to end today’s column.

Bob Hall