Monday, August 13, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#206) -- More Than vs. Over

Any other common grammar mistakes that drive you crazy?

The cow didn't jump more than
the moon. Well, it probably did.
I hear and see this one all the time, particularly in advertising, and it drives me nuts: "over" used when "more than" is correct.

An example...

We have over thirty years experience in lighting expertise.

It should read...

We have more than thirty years experience in lighting expertise. 

Why?

Because "over" is specific to spacial proximity, such as "The dog stood over the cat." And "more than" is specific to quantity. The two are not interchangeable, even if we grammar hardcases are losing that battle in public usage. Sorry. 

Note: Even AP is letting this one go based on what "sounds good" now, but even AP drops the ball sometimes.