Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Survey Question: Puzzling Plurals

(The public is invited to participate in the survey, located within this post.)

Most English nouns are transformed from singular to plural by adding an -s or -es to the end, as with cat -- cats and wish -- wishes, but there are a number of singular--plural pairs that are tricky. How tricky? Let's find out! In the survey below, check all the phrases that are expressed correctly. Do not look anything up in a dictionary -- just go with your own insight. Here are two examples:
Example 1.   two savvy woman
(incorrect, because woman is a singular noun, but two indicates more than one. If the phrase were one savvy woman, or two savvy women, it would be correct.)

Example 2.   five new cars
(correct, because cars indicates more than one, a plural, and five also indicates more than one)
Now, complete the survey below. If the survey does not work, click here and vote / view at the source, Twiigs Polls.

Thanks for participating! Invite your friends, too.
Check back on April 29th for discussion.



  1. Anonymous4/15/2012

    Thanks, Susan, for challenging our brain cells. Will we find out what the correct answers are, or do we have to use a dictionary! Happy publishing, FAS

  2. Thanks for participating in the survey, FAS. We will discuss the answers in two weeks, because Vocabulogic only publishes every other Sunday. If you want to know sooner, feel free to look them up after voting.

  3. Anonymous4/16/2012

    I heard this 'funny' on the radio this AM. If you had to do 'spell check' by looking it up, you'll like our music (classic rock)! How things have changed.

  4. Whoever thought we'd view classic rock as a predictor of dictionary use!? Funny.

  5. Anonymous4/25/2012

    Great topic for discussion, and very timely! It's unfortunate that we live in a time in which people's writing skills, on a national cultural scale, are degrading at a truly alarming rate.

    1. It does seem that "people's" writing skills are not what they once were, but I cannot support this with any data (not saying that there is no data--I just do not know about it).

      I wonder if the alleged writing deterioration might be attributed to the computer? "Why bother with spelling, when we have spell check?"

      Thanks for contributing to the survey!


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