But I seldom forget things my schoolteachers taught me when I was a little kid.
One lesson I remember from second grade (probably in 1953 or '54) is when to use "less" and when to use "fewer."
It was very simple then, and it's very simple now.
- "Less" goes with things that are measured or weighed, like apple sauce.
- "Fewer" goes with things that are counted, like apples (or bottles of sauce).
Apparently New York Times reporter Ben Sisario did not learn what I learned in second grade. Even worse, neither did his copyeditor.
Subscribers can be counted, so they get the "fewer" treatment.
(Applesauce photo from Mott's, of course. Apples photo from http://www.whateverwhenevernow.com/