Grits: singular or plural?

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Jul 3 13:53:54 UTC 2002

Referring to the food,  "grits" is a mass noun.  So are "hominy" and the
redundant phrase "hominy grits".  (Grits is ground hominy.)

For Lois McMaster Bujold fans, "groats" is also a mass noun.  According to
MWCD10, groats are ground coarser than grits and are not necessarily from

>From the Order of the Turtle: "Four letters, last two are "i-t", commonly
found in barnyards, and some people say Winston Churchill was full of it.
What is it?"

"grit" is used as a mass noun to mean a quantity of abrasive particulars.  If
you are referring to several different grades of such abrasives (as would an
archeologist discussing potsherds), then you would say "grits" as a count

"grit" meaning "firmness of mind or spirit" is a mass noun.  I cannot think
of a plausible context in which one could speak of the "grits" or two or more

        - Jim Landau

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