Tag Archives: language

More than vs. more that

Recently, for the first time, I found the nerve-shreddingly illogical phrase “more that” (instead of “more than“) in a printed book. This seems, to me, the tipping point at which it has definitively crossed into the mainstream as a linguistic mutation. On p.75* of Helen Macdonald’s bestseller, H is for Hawk, is the following text:


It’s a well-written book whose author is highly educated and intelligent. There were many points at which this error could and should have been spotted. Whether it crept in from the original manuscript or during typesetting, none of the beta readers or editors appears to have flagged it for correction. Continue reading

Communications: RIP “different from”

The death has not been announced of the phrase “different from” but it’s clearly a phrase whose time is up. In the last week alone, I’ve heard “different to” used by Radio 4 journalists and seen it in a broadsheet newspaper. I can’t even remember when I last heard or read “different from” in even the most erudite circles; it’s now on its final journey to wherever it is that dead phrases go. Unless breeding pairs of “different from” are found in the wild, or in captivity, it risks becoming entirely extinct (when did “gone extinct” gain currency, by the way? Such a horrible, clunky phrase – but I sense that’s a rant for another time). Continue reading