"Feedback" a count noun?

Dennis Baron debaron at UIUC.EDU
Wed Dec 15 18:35:27 UTC 2004

homeworks is common enough in the world of high school: can't tell you
how many times my kids' teachers say, oh yeah, they're missing three
homeworks. In this case it's short for separate hw assignments. I
wonder if that then leads to people saying, "Ok, hand your homeworks in
now" -- referring to lots of copies of a single assignment. I don't
have access to other people's classrooms so I can't tell.

On a similar subject, it still sounds odd to me when I hear people
talking about a troop, referring to a single soldier.


On Dec 15, 2004, at 12:12 PM, Beverly Flanigan wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Feedback" a count noun?
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Compare surgeries, homeworks, informations, researches. . . .  The
> first is
> now common (not so in my youth); the other three are common among L2
> speakers of English; and the second one is now spreading to native
> speakers
> as well (my TAs use it).

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