LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||28/DEZ/2005 5:18 PM|
|Assunto:||Plural of words in English|
Frequently I read in newspapers, computer magazines, and in some website; words like "hardware", "software" in the plural. I can not agree and never found any matter in my search which confirm that these words has plural with "s".
I have already read some issues concerning plural in English.
One of them is related to the plural of foreign words such as analysis (sing) --> analyses (pl); datum (sing) --> data (pl). The point is that those "different" plurals are not known by everyone, and, therefore, not used in the daily life. So, people end up attaching the regular plural to those words.
Another issue is the plural of words such as "mouse" (the computer device). Should it be "mice" or "mouses"? It seems that "mouses" are the ones that are being more used.
I don´t understand why hardware or software cannot receive a plural. Do you consider them as uncountables?
Today I read in a respectable website another strange construction: "coffes breaks". My GOD!
I agree with you because it is agrammatical/wrong. The plural rule says that when we have two nouns, and one is used as an adjective, the adjective noun (the first one) is normally singular. As a consequence: coffee breaks is the correct form. There are exceptions: "nouns that do not have a singular form (clothes); nouns which are not used in the singular with the same meaning (customs); and some nouns that are more often used in the plural than in the singular (savings)." (Michael Swan, Practical English Usage) These ones are used in their plural form.
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