SURELY YOUR PAPER EMploys proofreaders. On Page 9 of the Sept. 30 edition in the last sentence of the first paragraph of the article “The House that Smith Almost Built” (“Washington’s Mundane Mysteries, No. 3,” The District Line) is a glaring grammatical error.
Your author, Clara Jeffery, incorrectly used “less than 50 yards.” Correct usage is “fewer than 50 yards.” Practically every newspaper in the United States, including the independent Washington Post, prints this error at least once in every edition. Supermarkets favor this error in checkout signs, i.e., “less than 10 items.”
This error is rampant throughout the land. Its evidence is epidemic. Only vigilance and education will correct and defeat it. You are called upon to join this fight. Nothing less than correct usage of the English language is at stake.