A trivial dialect conundrum

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 4 21:35:54 UTC 2012

>From the NYT:

A. "… one of those _euphemisms_ that _make_ my teeth hurt."

The problem is the use of the plural in the relative clause. I use the singular:

B. "… _one_ of those euphemisms that _makes_ my teeth hurt."

I have no idea why this is the case. I'm certain that I wasn't taught
the B way of constructing this kind of sentence-partial and I'm not
even sure that I've ever heard anyone but me say it and the A-type is
the only construction that I've ever seen in print.

Nevertheless, until *very* recently, I've regarded the A-type as
merely a common "error" of no import.


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 - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list