A few more items of language have arisen again and I must deal with them. My friend at the lake, though in total angst about his wife, still took advantage of having a writer in residence, and asked me was he correct in choosing amount to indicate quantity, a sum total, as opposed to number, also a quantity or amount, but countable, numerical. So you have a large amount of food, even money, but a number of people, or dollars. I agreed with him and added a corollary: few as opposed to less. One can have a few dollars, but less money.
I know: I'm unbearable. I dated for a short time a divorcé, who prided himself on his linguistic skills. Once, for a long date (a drive to Stratford to see a play and back the same day - I said dated), as I say a long time, he brought along a short edition of the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), a short version of Fowler's Modern English Usage, and a lexicon. He needed them for our arguments. He was one of the few people I felt free to correct or question, in the full understanding that he would fight back.
So I'm back to normal, I guess.
Note to Pat, to whom I cannot reply: thank you for your touching and welcome comments.