Up to … or more!

Pet peeve: The phrase up to [some number] or more.

I see this now and then in ads, in lines like (made-up example) “The battery lasts up to 8 hours or more!” If you take that phrase literally, it’s meaningless—the battery might last less than 8 hours, or it might last more, who knows?

Vaguely related, but not the same thing: I just saw an ad that said that Amazon’s Alexa is “fluent in up to 8 languages.” I’m not clear on what up to is doing in that sentence. Is Amazon uncertain about how many languages Alexa is fluent in? Does it vary?

One Response to “Up to … or more!”

  1. nj

    Since it doesn’t say “up to and including”, an extremely literal reading would suggest that it might less than 8 hours, or more than 8 hours, but not *exactly* 8 hours. So it is giving you *some* information!


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