Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Feb 5 16:23:59 UTC 2013

I seem to recall that a high-school "grammar" textbook in the early 1960s decreed that, for a solid-spelled compound word, the plural -s belong at the end (thus, "teaspoonfuls"), but if the compound is spelled as separate words, then the logical earlier noun should get the plural ending:  so "attorneys general" and "mothers-in-law."

Of course, such a rule (if it exists) has only to do with spelling.


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Benjamin Torbert [btorbert at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 6:57 PM

Which of these sounds more natural to y'all?  As a plural.

a) Teaspoonsful
b) Teaspoonfuls


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