Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,
Thistle
thistle_chaser

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No saints here, no matter the day.

More often than I would like, I get annoyed at someone's grammatical mistake, then I question if I'm actually correct or not. A lot of it is second-guessing myself, sometimes it's that language has evolved since I learned a rule, and sometimes I really am wrong. (Happily that third one is the least common, but it's the second one that annoys me most. NO YOU CANNOT HAS A CHEESEBURGER. NO YOU DO NOT KNOW MY "FEELS".)

The use of "latter" comes up now and again. I learned it to mean the second item in a list.

"Beef, pork, or chicken? I'll take the latter, pork."

However, sometimes times I see people using it to mean the last item in the list.

"Beef, pork, or chicken? I'll take the latter, chicken."

Latter does also mean later/last in a time-sense. From Merriam-Webster.com:

Definition of LATTER
1
a : belonging to a subsequent time or period : more recent [the latter stages of growth]
b : of or relating to the end [in their latter days]
c : recent, present [affected by latter calamities]
2
: of, relating to, or being the second of two groups or things or the last of several groups or things referred to [of ham and beef the latter meat is cheaper today]

So in this case, I pretty sure I'm right. Using it to mean "chicken" in the "Beef, pork, or chicken" list is a mistake. It seems an easy mistake to make though, since in non-lists it could mean the last/latest thing.

Any opinions on this? :)
Tags: grammar
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