The Problem with Plurals
or: Quis Castigabit Ipsos Castigatores?
January 5, 2012
If you’re like most of us, you’ve said something perfectly normal only to have some creep pounce on your grammar. “Actually, it’s ‘I can’t get any satisfaction.’ I think you’ll find it’s ‘The lovers, the dreamers and I.’”1 If you’re an incorrigible bastard like me, you’ve occasionally been that creep (although, I maintain, in the politest possible way). But what happens when even the pedants are wrong? Because even the snarkiest censors will occasionally be wrong themselves, especially when it comes to that glorious goldmine of the English language: plural nouns. Everyone — and I mean everyone — screws these up from time to time. But the problem isn’t with the English language itself. The problem lies squarely with foreign loan words and the people who insist on using them correctly.
"In one case described in the report, Eliezer "Boy" Billanes, a community leader in the Philippines who campaigned against a new copper and gold mining project, was shot dead by two unidentified men riding a motorcycle whilst buying a newspaper."
Wow - sure a hard way to buy a newspaper (and they shouldn't read whilst driving!!!).
A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg
There's a well-known (and possibly made-up) newspaper headline:
Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
From delanceyplace.com 4/26/12
You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity