Re: grammar: "types of ____(s)"?

Subject: Re: grammar: "types of ____(s)"?
From: "Wayne J. Douglass" <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 1997 13:54:54 -0800

At 04:08 PM 2/6/97 -0500, Stan Swaren wrote:
>We've got a debate going here at work. Which of the following phrases
>is correct?
>
>"...types of document"
>"...types of documents"
>
>To put it in context: "What types of document(s) can I find in the
>electronic repository?"
>
>A trip to the dictionary provided us with the model "kinds of sports",
>and I assume that "types" follows the same rule. However, my gut
>instinct says to go with Plato's forms: there are many chair-instances
>but only one true chair.
>
Only one of the ten or so usage guides I have readily available discusses
this construction. Bergen and Cornelia Evans, _A Dictionary of Contemporary
American Usage_ (1957) says: "The singular for 'type of' and the plural form
'types of' may each be followed by either a singular or a plural noun....In
this respect 'type of' does not follow the pattern of 'kind of' and 'sort
of.'" They cite Bertrand Russell, no less, who uses all four variations.

--Wayne Douglass

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