Mudcat Café message #4050885 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132499   Message #4050885
Posted By: Doug Chadwick
06-May-20 - 02:47 PM
Thread Name: BS: Language Pet Peeves
Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves

"Slightly less than two decades ago, she was the happy mother of four..."

The writer is a journalist and presumably has the facts. If it was 19 years, say so. Better yet, say "In 2001, she was the happy mother..."

It might not have been 19 years ago. 18 yrs and 9 months would still qualify as "slightly less than 2 decades". It might not have been 2001. Anything after June 2000 would be less than 2 decades.

Our language is full of synonyms. Just because you prefer one doesn't make the others wrong. As I said somewhere up-thread, life would be pretty boring if communication was restricted to an approved list of basic words. Variety is the spice of life.