Which is correct (or does it matter)?

....due to a high volume of requests....

....due to a high number of requests....

to my ear, volume is incorrect here - I realize we use volume to talk about a book or a magazine, but generally, isn't it a mass noun?

  • Actually, it's a comment to the statement: "to my ear, volume is incorrect here." Sep 13, 2019 at 19:45
  • Your connection of the word volume with books is the wrong context. Volume here is a measure of capacity (e.g. the volume of the bottle — or the volume of wine in the bottle — is 750 millilitres). The question (which has a helpful answer) is whether it can be applied to countable objects like requests. You might wish to edit your question in this regard.
    – David
    Sep 15, 2019 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


Both are acceptable and the general rule is as you point out in the header. Countables (or mathematically, discrete quantities) get number / fewer and "Uncountables" (or mathematically, continuous quantities) get volume / less.


Things get funny with high numbers. People notice the difference between 5 fingers and 4 fingers, but it might take a long time to notice the difference between a thousand people and 999 people. Therefore when using a quantity (calls in this case) that can often be large the difference is taste rather than grammar.

Please note that in volume vs number, there but technically correct. I'm using the assumed rules where people care that there is a rule, but I'm aware that it's not fixed.


Both are correct.



6 a mass or quantity, especially a large quantity, of something: a volume of mail.


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