"many a" -- singular or plural? Or just awkward?

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Thu Nov 13 15:13:23 UTC 2008

On Nov 12, 2008, at 9:54 AM, Neal Whitman wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "many a" -- singular or plural? Or just awkward?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> What about "many a more"? As in:
>        Get on board, little children (sing 3x)
>        There's room for many a more.
>        (traditional African-American spiritual)
> A blend of "many more" and "many a one" or "many a [NOUN]"? The
> result of a
> reanalysis of phrases like "many a [more honorable man]"? Or just a
> meaningless extra syllable to fill out the meter?...

or a variant based on "many another"?


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