Still Less

 Hello, everyone,

Is the following sentence correct?

  1. The release of the toxic gas in the theater had terrible consequences: people could hardly find their bearings, less still the exit, far still less their belongings.

Thanks.

Original Post
ahmad posted:

 Is the following sentence correct?

  1. The release of the toxic gas in the theater had terrible consequences: people could hardly find their bearings, less still the exit, far still less their belongings.

Hello, Ahmad,

No, that sentence is not correct. One problem is that you have incorrectly reversed the quasi-coordinator "still less" (in the first instance) so that it reads  "less still." Another problem is that we don't say "far still less."

It is unusual to see "still less" followed by another phrase of the same type. It would be more natural to use "or" after "still less." But if you really want repetition with intensification, I recommend "much less" followed by "still less":

(2) People could hardly find their bearings, still less the exit or their belongings.

(3) People could hardly find their bearings, much less the exit, still less their belongings.

Thanks, David. I was myself less sure of the correctness of the sentence, although I failed to notice the order of words previously, but the construction as a whole was what interested me the most. Your recommendations, especially the second one, are a great help, which I hope to find myriad situations to use in.

Gustavo, thanks for your recommendation. It is great too.

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