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#11656 - 12/04/00 02:46 PM Re: You done good, Marty.
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Be warned that I am a Fool and as such I am not required to explain my cryptic remarks, but since I am new here I will say that the whaddaya wanna comment and the infinitely regressive comment were not meant to be linked in any way.

I stand by my distinction between the plurals fish and fishes.


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#11657 - 12/04/00 04:01 PM Re: You done good, Marty.
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
I stand by my distinction between the plurals fish and fishes.

I can't confirm or deny, but this does make some sense if you compare it with "people" and "peoples".

But then . . . does "mooses" mean a group of different types of moose?


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#11658 - 12/04/00 04:41 PM Re: You done good, Marty.
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Moose, the beast, is both plural and singular. Mousse, the foamy stuff you put in your hair, is also plural and singular. Perhaps it is just a matter of what sounds better since mousse is a relatively new invention.


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#11659 - 12/04/00 05:02 PM Re: You done good, Marty.
Marty Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 347
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
In reply to:

Moose, the beast, is both plural and singular. Mousse, the foamy stuff you put in your hair, is also plural and singular. Perhaps it is just a matter of what sounds better since mousse is a relatively new invention.


Not sure that I agree with your reasoning or choice of words there, bel. I think mousse is an example of an uncountable mass of substance that Bingley referred to. I would say 1 moose, 2 moose, but never 1 mousse, 2 mousse. On the other hand, I might say "I had two different mousses to choose from this morning" which is probably a lazy abbreviation for "two different kinds of mousse". Same applies to a lot of uncountable mass nouns - try substituting honey, jam, oil, wheat, sand,.. for mousse (in the sentence, bel, not your hair!)



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#11660 - 12/05/00 12:22 AM Re: You done good, Marty.
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
In reply to:

I might say "I had two different mousses to choose from this morning" which is probably a lazy abbreviation for "two different kinds of mousse". Same applies to a lot of uncountable mass nouns - try substituting honey, jam, oil, wheat, sand,.. for mousse (in the sentence, bel, not your hair!)


Don't put yourself down Marty, it's not a lazy abbreviation at all. It's just the way English works. Uncountable nouns, if their meaning allows it, can be made countable nouns with the meaning "different kinds of".

Beer of course could be substituted in the sentence and in your hair.

Bingley

_________________________
Bingley

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#11661 - 12/05/00 12:43 AM Re: You done good, Marty.
Bridget Offline
addict

Registered: 06/27/00
Posts: 444
Loc: Sydney Australia
>Beer of course could be substituted in the sentence and in your hair.<

Waste of good beer!
(Of course, if you have any bad beer, do what you like with it...)


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#11662 - 12/05/00 04:33 AM Re: Plurality of plurals
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
the difference between countable nouns and uncountable nouns
So far so good, but I still don't see where fish and sheep fit in here. If I am not mistaken, you would rather say "fish were plentiful in the sea" than "..was..".


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#11663 - 12/05/00 06:03 AM Re: Plurality of plurals
FishonaBike Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/11/00
Posts: 1346
Loc: Sussex, England
you would rather say "fish were plentiful in the sea" than "..was..".

I think you could say both, wsieb.

"fish was plentiful in the area" treats "fish" as a general commodity.

Conversely - I don't know why - but "sheep was plentiful in the area" doesn't work at all.

Is it significant that you can say "I eat fish" but you wouldn't generally say "I eat sheep" ?

- As "lamb was plentiful in the area" sounds OK.






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#11664 - 12/05/00 08:25 AM Re: Plurality of plurals
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
you wouldn't generally say "I eat sheep" ..
..because you can say "I eat mutton" - and also: "mutton was plentiful.."
Certainly the commodity aspect is more relevant here than the "uncountable" property.- But, Bingley, is this linguistics or something else?


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#11665 - 12/05/00 08:33 AM Re: Plurals ?
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
If the plural of mouse is mice,
Is the plural of spouse spice?
wow


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