molasses sg/pl - dialectal variation?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 4 06:14:40 UTC 2009

Don't sweat it, James. I don't even know what molasses is! In my my
family, we've used either syrup "(surrup" or "seerup") and honey.

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

On Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 7:59 PM, James Harbeck <jharbeck at> wrote:
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> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â molasses sg/pl - dialectal variation?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've always been used to "molasses" as a singular noun for a mass
> object. Today I encountered, in a document written by an American
> co-worker (most recently from the Bay Area, but before that Las Vegas
> and Arkansas), consistent treatment of it as a plural, which I am not
> accustomed to (e.g., "Blackstrap molasses are a favourite supplement
> in health food circles because they contain hefty amounts of vitamins
> and minerals" - the context of the usages makes it clear she was not
> using the plural to mean "types of molasses"). I can find other
> instances of this with a Google search, but I'm not sure if it's a
> regional variation or not. Does anyone here know about this? Or,
> failing that, which version are each of you used to -- singular or
> plural?
> Thanks,
> James Harbeck.
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