Grits: singular or plural?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jul 3 17:50:05 UTC 2002

At 10:28 AM -0400 7/3/02, James A. Landau wrote:
>In a message dated 7/3/02 10:18:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
>sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM writes:
>>  I think "groats" usually refers to hulled, but not ground, grains, as in
>>   buckwheat groats  or oat groats.
>I should have looked at the M-W definition more closely.  "1.  hulled grain
>broken into fragments larger than grits 2. a grain (as of oats) exclusive of
>the hull"
The fact that "groats" are a bit like "grits" only bigger is a nice
feather in the cap of sound symbolism.  (It would never be the other
way around, right?)  My association with "groats" is kasha, a.k.a.
buckwheat groats, which however is a mass singular as opposed to a
mass plural (like grits and groats).

Good stuff, although more for slightly cooler weather than we're having lately.


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