The plural of "moose" is ...

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Aug 19 01:29:01 UTC 2010

At 8:50 PM -0400 8/18/10, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>But I thought we knew that. I mean the correct plural of "moose."
>But if that's news, did you know that the plural of any animal is the
>singular if you're hunting it/them?
>"Whatcha huntin', Clem?"
>"Aardvark. En yew?"
>"Tuatara. Them's mighty fine eatin'."
>The pattern might not work for bugs though.

Right--"My cat was hunting moth this evening".  Not great.  (For her
either; it flew off.)

But these <- bug> object-of-hunt cases would correspond in many
languages to incorporated objects as in "I'm aardvark-hunting", where
"aardvark" isn't really singular, plural, inflectable (via object
markers) or modifiable (except perhaps in "big game hunting") .  The
object is non-specific, so semantically the question of number
doesn't really arise.


>On Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 8:40 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  -----------------------
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>>  Subject:      Re: The plural of "moose" is ...
>>  On Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 7:46 PM, Jim Parish <jparish at> wrote:
>>  > Jinx the cat (whom Wikipedia identifies as "Mr. Jinks").
>>  He was also the suave romeo who whispered into his love's ear,
>>  "Baby, you turn my record over. Like, on the *flip* side." (Emphasis
>>  in the original.)
>>  Try explaining to the grandkids, in 25 words or less, why this was
>>  worth bringing to their attention as a prime example of the cartoon
>>  humor of the '60's.
>>  --
>>  -Wilson
>>  ---
>>  All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"--a strange complaint to
>>  come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>>  -Mark Twain
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society -
>"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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