Another WOTY candidate: hanging chads

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sun Nov 12 15:21:28 UTC 2000

heard on npr this morning: a piece in which "pregnant chad"
(clearly a mass-noun occurrence) was followed not long after
by "chads" (clearly a count-noun occurrence).

looks like "chad" is going the way of "e-mail" (or "email", if
you prefer): many speakers can use it either as a mass noun
("e-mail has been piling up in my mailbox") or a count noun
("two e-mails have just arrived").

arnold (zwicky at

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