The plural of "moose" is ...

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 1 20:22:40 UTC 2010

And fish.

Relatedly, small fruits and vegetables of which one would be too small a
portion: berries, beans*, peas (originally a mass noun "pease"), and so on.

*  including lima beans and string beans, which are countable, as well as
baked beans, which swim in their own glop and are less clearly so

 - "More peas/beans, please."

 - "How (much/*many)?  (
 - "Is this enough? / * Are these enough?)"

-- where the stars indicate unacceptability; let someone else decide whether
to call the issue a grammatical one.

m a m

On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 8:48 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at>wrote:

>  Well, there is one other context where not much distinction between
> singular and plural--meat. Aside from the Big Three that have special
> words--beef, pork, venison (also veal and, perhaps, mutton)--other meats
> (and sea creatures) do not take a plural marker: chicken, duck, goose,
> pheasant, guinea fowl, quail, lamb, goat, fish, lobster, crab, squid,
> cuttlefish, shrimp, kangaroo, squirrel, possum, raccoon, ostrich, emu,
> moose are what's for dinner, even if multiple dishes, species and
> carcasses are being prepared.  Buffalo is a special case (one could
> argue that so are fish and shrimp). But: eggs, ants, grasshoppers,
> pullets, etc. (and calamari, of course). Does it mean that when we talk
> about "meat" we use the adjectival form, cropping the word "meat" or
> something similar (filet, steak)? Or might there be another reason?
>     VS-)
> On 8/30/2010 7:56 PM, Chris Waigl wrote:
> > On 21 Aug 2010, at 15:03, ronbutters at AOL.COM wrote:
> >> In contexts other than hunting (and/or ducks), 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.)
> >>
> >> Chris
> >
> > I was reminded of this discussion when I came across this opening
> sentence of a NYT article today:
> >
> >
> > ====
> > Federal inspections of the two Iowa egg farms at the heart of a
> nationwide recall and salmonella outbreak found widespread safety problems,
> including barns infested with flies, maggot and rodents, the Food and Drug
> Administration said Monday.
> >
> > ====
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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