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hpr3525 :: Battling with English - part 4

Some confusion with English plurals; strange language changes

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Hosted by Dave Morriss on 2022-02-04 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
grammar, spelling, plurals, word misuse, English, language evolution. 6.
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Duration: 00:15:20

Battling with English.

Looking at the English language and highlighting some common anomalies, mistakes, mispellings, grammar problems and similar.

Confusing plurals

In this episode, the fourth of this series, I’m looking at some words that have singular and plural forms that are very different. These lead to a lot of confusion as we’ll see.

I also want to look at the way that English is evolving in some very strange and apparently senseless ways!

Personal note: I notice I started preparing this show in 2019; unfortunately, COVID messed up my productivity for the next two years, but I hope I can now begin to be productive again!

Long notes

I have provided detailed notes as usual for this episode, and these can be viewed by following the full notes link.

  • Plural of thesis:
    • Grammar Monster
      • This link has some good advice for dealing with weird plurals, though some you just have to remember, there are no rules!
  • Irregular plurals which end with "ae" (or "æ"):
    • Wiktionary
      • This is a list of these plurals, 159 of them at the time of writing. Many of these are obsolete however.


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Comment #1 posted on 2022-02-04 22:39:28 by Xoke

Multiple words in a row

I was talking about the horse and cart sign, and the guy that made it left too much space between 'horse' and 'and', and 'and' and cart...

And the completely contrived one about 'had', where someone doing a test used 'had', someone else used 'had had', however the examiner preferred 'had had'.

Smith, where Jones had had "had," had had "had had"; "had had" had had the examiners approval

Comment #2 posted on 2022-02-08 18:32:12 by Dave Morriss

Where Jones had had "had" ...

Hi Xoke,

Thanks for the comment.

The 'had had' things were a favourite of my late father, so they were instilled into my brain from an early age. It was great to be reminded of them, thanks :-)


Comment #3 posted on 2022-02-10 03:23:59 by dnt


Now I think we're seeing some people take the plurals like crises into any plural word that ends in -es, so we're hearing people say "processees". Start talking about processees and I stop listening.

Comment #4 posted on 2022-02-10 22:21:57 by wynaut


I learnt something new here, will listen to the other episodes in this series too.

Comment #5 posted on 2022-02-11 10:22:12 by Dave Morriss

Re: processes

Hi dnt,

I am also reluctant to listen to people floundering about with these apparently random singulars and plurals. After all there are some amazingly good resources on the internet that explain unusual words and where they came from.

However, I suppose you need some sort of incentive to look.


Comment #6 posted on 2022-02-11 10:26:08 by Dave Morriss

Hope you find the episodes useful, wynaut


Thanks for the comment. I hope you find the whole set of episodes useful.


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