Friday, September 28, 2012

How Many Is Several?

The following is an actual conversation between my only son and me.

ActorBoy: I'm supposed to give them several available dates and long as it's in these four days. [Pause] I don't think I can fit "several" dates in that amount of time.

Me: Sure you can. Three is "several."

ActorBoy: Three is "a few."

Me: Okay...let me think...two would be "a pair," three is "a few" about four? Four could be "several."

ActorBoy: I would call that "some." I've always connected the number twelve with "several."

Me: Well, sure, twelve would be several, but it doesn't take that many to be "several." I could have dinner with eight friends and say "I had dinner with several friends."

ActorBoy: I would call that "a bunch."

[Much laughter]

ActorBoy: You should write this down!


Brad said...

I've always equated seven with several - probably because they both start with "seve"

Julie said...

When my kids were but wee tikes, I taught them that "a few" is three; "several," with a definition a bit more vague, is four through seven; and "numerous" is 10 or more. What about eight and nine, you may be wondering? I don't know.… They are troublesome! They are too great, really, to be considered "several," and too slight to be classified as "numerous," or even as "many." I think that I would have to agree with your ActorBoy and label them "a bunch." Now that we all have been set straight on that matter, let us move on to the scores of other dilemmas and conundrums in Dewey's world.… ;o)