Can we describe a portion as "most" if it is less than half?

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Thirteen people were present. I asked each person to select a fruit from the bowl. Each chose one.

 

Five chose an apple.

Three chose a pear.

Three chose a banana.

Two chose an orange.

 

Is it correct to say most chose an apple?

quantities asked Apr 30 '13 at 19:37 Laurie Harrington New member

1 answer


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Using 'most' would indicate that more than half chose an apple. You could say, "More people chose apples over any other fruit." or "Apples were the most commonly chosen fruit."

link answered Apr 30 '13 at 20:44 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Thank you. I agree, but I am wondering if this is a common understanding or somewhat...specialized (not sure that is the best word). I got a blank stare followed by frustration when Icorrected this while editing an esteemed colleague's writing. Am I being too picky? Are there wellinformed opposing opinions out there among othe "grammarlians"?

Laurie HarringtonMay 10 '13 at 15:44

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