Let me count the — different? — ways

I have nothing against the word different. Sometimes nothing else will do. For example, you might be tasting a fresh batch of headcheese, made from an old family recipe. “My,” you could say, “That’s different.”

But if you’re stating or even implying a number  twelve or two or a whole bunch stop right there. Whatever those countable things are bridges or sheep or charities  you don’t need to declare their differentness.

Consider these phrases:

  • A dozen different bridges
  • Two different sheep
  • A lot of different charities

Those bridges had better be different, or something’s awry with the laws of physics. Same goes for the sheep, even if one’s a clone of the other. And if you’re calling the charities different, don’t ask me for a donation. If you’re wasteful with words, why should I trust you with money?

4 thoughts on “Let me count the — different? — ways

  1. Pingback: The pen is mightier than the shovel. « Word Power

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