french chad

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Dec 4 15:45:43 UTC 2000

>"Les moustaches" always puzzled me...what is a
>moustache, a single whisker on the upper lip?

"Mustaches" is used like this in English too: one can say "He has a long
mustache" or "He has long mustaches". I think in the plural form each
mustache is regarded as the group of hairs on one side of the upper lip, so
that each man has only two mustaches. A quick search shows the plural usage
in works by N. Hawthorne, B. Harte, H. James, J. Conrad, and many others.
Possibly the plural usage is now considered a little bit old-fashioned.

-- Doug Wilson

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