Apparently the folks at the Associated Press (AP) lost more than their money at the Las Vegas craps tables. They lost their minds too. From Pointer.org: “AP Stylebook editors said at a session Thursday that ‘over’ is fine when referring to a quantity; you don’t have to change it to ‘more than.’” (This blasphemy took place at the American Copy Editors Society conference in Las Vegas.)
Well, isn’t that great. The AP editors have given us permission to use the wrong word. “Over” is a preposition, much like “above” and “around.” The cow jumped over the moon. “More than” refers to quantities. Five is more than four. The cow is not more than the moon any more than five is over four. Unless of course, you’re looking a picture where a number “5” is actually over a number “4.”
Those of us who firmly believe in these rules are twitching today. I’m convinced this is just the first step toward a complete breakdown of human civilization.
On the plus side, I’m sure McDonald’s is happy to learn their “Over 1 million served” motto is no longer incorrect.