Re: Singular or Plural?

Subject: Re: Singular or Plural?
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "List,Techwriter" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 09 Feb 2007 15:19:38 -0800

Eason, David wrote:

Beer can be a collective noun, so "pizza and beer" is more euphonious
and parallel than "pizza and beers."

Yes, and even more than euphony is at stake. Beer is pure cheesecake--it requires almost no effort at all, starting at the lips (labial explosive) and sliding down to the back of the throat as the tongue drops down in the bucchal cavity to make room for it. As words go, it is pin-up art, like a perfect word in a world of words that require considerably more effort to articulate clearly. And if beer isn't languid enough, our friends down under have stripped it down to essence as a virtuously effortless expression that doesn't require much more than the lips and breath: bih. Let get pizza and bih.

Anyway, back from Oz, if you want to add the s to make it plural, it requires a jolt of articulation to get the tongue up to the roof (just behind teeth) for that terminal sibillance. Oof, what a chore. No wonder we choose to let the singular stand for mass quantities.

Analyses, compares to analysis, also requires a bit more effort to articulate, but the original question is about a brochure. While some purchasing teams may indeed sit in meetings reading marketing collateral to each other, the effort of articulation shouldn't generally be much of a factor in brochure writing. Unfortunately, I think I observed my eyes doing the slightest of double-takes on the written word analyses, but not on analysis.

Anyway, I'm just trying to help. Don't sue me if this turns into analysis paralysis.

Have fun,

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com


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RE: Singular or Plural?: From: Eason, David

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