False plurals

rogersgeorge on January 16th, 2014

Some words end in “s” that aren’t plurals. I’m not referring to well-known suffixes such as -ness, either. Neither do I refer to words that end in the ess sound, such as porpoise, or familiar s-ending words with well-known plurals such as glass, grass, pass, and gas.

Some words used to end in -s that we removed the ess sound from to make them sound singular. The most famous, perhaps, is pease, now singularized to pea and a new plural, peas.

I’ll let the comic explain about the rest:

Why Politics Are Boring

I have seen “physic” in print (it’s now obsolete), and “gymnastic” as an adjective. But the point of this Candorville comic from Oct 12, 2013 is correct: fields of study (-ics) such as physics and mathematics are singulars, and they should get singular verbs.

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One Response to “False plurals”

  1. Oh boy! I have no idea what you mean….nor on yesterday’s post either, which I didn’t get around to commenting to, but to which I would have written the same. Huh?

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