The following is the opening line from an article of Scientific American.

The amount of time people spend watching television is astonishing. On average, individuals in the industrialized world devote three hours a day to the pursuit—fully half of their leisure time, and more than on any single activity save work and sleep.

As the comparison is to which activity they devote more time, it should be "and more than to any single activity" instead of "and more than on any single activity". Am I wrong?

  • You are not wrong. But that doesn't make the question very interesting for future readers. Errors often occur in English writing, just like in writing in any other language. – The Photon Jul 29 '17 at 14:04
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the answer is uninteresting. – The Photon Jul 29 '17 at 14:05
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – J.R. Jul 30 '17 at 23:29

Yes, you’re wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with the original wording. In the phrase:

more than on any single activity

the idiomatic phrase being used is “(to) spend time on an activity.”

That part of the phrase isn’t making a comparison, it’s talking about the total hours amassed watching television.

  • But the phrase "spend time [on]" is never used in the quoted passage. The writer starts with the phrase "devote [time] to" and then somehow connects to it with "on" out of the blue. The quoted passage is indeed poorly formed. – The Photon Jul 29 '17 at 14:02
  • @ThePhoton - Individuals in the industrialized world devote three hours a day to watching television. The preposition to doesn't need to "connect" to anything. – J.R. Jul 30 '17 at 23:16

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