The plural of "moose" is ...

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Aug 19 17:28:45 UTC 2010

I see a relationship!  Hunting, then killing (including driving
over), then eating or wearing -- the depersonalization of the prey by
using a mass (extermination) noun ("a plural without the plural form").


At 8/19/2010 01:21 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 1:08 PM -0400 8/19/10, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>At 8/19/2010 10:58 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>>"Hunting ducks in": about 218,000 estimated hits
>>>"Hunting duck in":  50 actual hits
>>>(a good number are irrelevant, of course, but Charlie's contrast
>>>comes out pretty clearly)
>>In contexts other than hunting (and/or ducks),
>and/or eating, as in "I (don't) eat a lot of rabbit/chicken/goose/..."
>>  does one often/rarely
>>find a plural without the plural form, as for the word "fish"?  (I
>>suspect this is virtually impossible to search for via Google.)
>There are other contexts in which the "universal grinder" comes into
>play--not just eating, but also wearing, driving over ("there's a lot
>of ____ on the road"), and so on.  Of course, these involve true mass
>uses, not singulars-as-plurals as in "There are many fish in the
>sea/moose on the tundra" vs. *"There were many duck in the
>sky/chicken in the coop/grasshopper in the field", so technically
>they don't satisfy the search for
>as in "fish" or "moose".
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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