Portrait of an unknown woman, by Egon Josef Kossuth.

Today’s easy lesson: the word “over.”

In colloquial English, the word “over” is commonly used to mean “above” or “more than.”

For example: “There are over fifty books in that library.” Yes, “more than” might be better, but we know what it means: it means there are fifty-three books, or sixty-two books, or one thousand three hundred eighty-eight books. In other words, the number is greater than fifty.

In Marketingspeak, however, “over” has a specialized meaning. It is placed in front of a number to indicate, “Here comes a number.”

For example (an Internet search result): “Faithful art reproductions by Egon Josef Kossuth. Choose from over 1 artworks by the famous artist.”

Exercise: How many paintings by Egon Josef Kossuth will you find at that site?

Answer: One. “Over” is used to indicate, “Here comes the number 1.”