I don’t usually indulge in peevery, but I’m making an exception here.

*Just a small fraction* came up at work the other day, and I removed the word *small*, which created strife between me and the writer. A discussion ensued in which he said he wanted *small* reinserted because nine-tenths is technically a fraction and he was emphasizing the smallness. Without *small*, how would the reader know what he meant?

Yes, it’s true that nine-tenths is a fraction. And yes, one could truthfully say that a Bugatti Veyron, at $3.5 million, is a fraction of the cost of the $4 million Lamborghini Veneno. But you wouldn’t. You would never say that.

It would be a dumb thing to say because the idiom *just a fraction* means* a very small amount*. See how *small* is built in there? This is what I’m talking about. There’s your technical, mathematical fraction (three-fifths, etc.) and then there’s your idiom, in which the word *fraction* means *a very small amount*.

- a small part, amount, degree, etc.; portion

Anyway, I don’t care about *who/whom *or* begs the question*, and I’m learning to live with *due to/because of*. But a *small fraction* still gets to me a little.