Ten cats but one less person

The “Ten Cats” comic strip  written by Graham Harrop is well worth following, for it describes the adventures of Annie and ten cats who all live in a warehouse.  Apparently Linda, one of the strip’s regular commenters, passed away, and Harrop provided a touching tribute:


p.s. Please don’t tell me that it’s one “fewer” person; Pinker dispels a lot of the “less/fewer” pedantry in his upcoming book on how to write, The Sense of Style.

h/t: jsp, Diane G.


  1. AdamK
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Pinker just might be wrong.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Heretic! (trying to figure out a lesser/fewer joke but can’t)

      • Doug
        Posted July 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Just as long as he doesn’t try to defend “I could care less.”

        • darrelle
          Posted July 22, 2014 at 5:36 am | Permalink

          I’ll defend it!

          Respect my authoriteh!

        • nightglare
          Posted July 22, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

          He does defend that, on the grounds that it’s meant ironically. (Presumably he also has to dispute the idea that Americans don’t get irony.)

          • Doug
            Posted July 22, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            In the words of another famous Canadian:
            “Who woulda thought . . .it figgers.”

        • Filippo
          Posted July 22, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          “I could care less.”

          Then do so. 😉

          • Posted July 22, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

            Fewer could also care less. But could less care fewer? I doubt it.

    • Posted July 21, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink


  2. Kiwi Dave
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Or Pinker might just be right. As someone who has always followed the less/fewer distinction in writing (but probably not always in speech) and looked down on those who didn’t, I was rather chastened a few minutes ago by the Wiki entry, especially the 888 example of ‘laes worda’ from Alfred the Great.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never thought about the less/fewer thing. I’m sure I’ve violated grammar rules but only because it sounded better.

      • Posted July 22, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        Good thinking. Fewer likely to make less mistakes that way.

  3. PS
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I would just like to point out that Pinker is certainly not the first to take on the less/fewer pedantry. According to the venerable Language Log, this particular peeve has already been disposed of by such mainstream style guides as Merriam-Webster’s.

  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    That is a touching commemoration. Nice that the artist penned it.

  5. Posted July 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    K-ATZ radio has all kinks of fun with its canine listeners.

    • Posted July 21, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I mean kinds — I don’t recall a strip by the author with kinky animal behavior. Other than talking cats and dogs, of course.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 21, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        I had all sorts of images come to mind. I’m glad you straightened that out.

  6. Shwell Thanksh
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Ah, reminds me of one of my old favorites from Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean, in which two leaves in autumn contemplate the approach of winter (from memory):

    Leaf 1: “Even the stars in the heavens, after billions of years, must eventually burn out and fade away.”

    Leaf 2: “But Dad, why can’t we live for billions of years like that instead of only a single year?”

    Leaf 1: “Son, everyone wants to be a star.”

  7. Mark Joseph
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I posted the following to this Ten Cats strip:

    A serious contender for cartoon of the year. Awesome. Not only in what it expresses, but in what it implies as well. This is a secular, subjective moral statement that puts to shame any religious pronouncement on the topic.

    As Somerset Maugham put it: “The right thing is the kind thing”.

  8. Jim Sweeney
    Posted July 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink


    Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

    • Diane G.
      Posted July 21, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      That’s my favorite Vonnegut quote.

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