molasses sg/pl - dialectal variation?

Randy Alexander strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 4 14:05:13 UTC 2009

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 7:59 AM, James Harbeck <jharbeck at> wrote:

> 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?

I'm of course used to the singular and have never heard of a plural.

But If different kinds of water would be "waters", wouldn't different kinds
of molasses be "molasseses"?

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China
My Manchu studies blog:

The American Dialect Society -

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