[Ads-l] Facebookery: _homeworks_ as a count-noun

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 23 11:47:06 EST 2016

It’s wrong to me, but I recall graduate students discussing the use of “homework” as a count noun about a decade ago.

The “how else” is “homework assignments” but I admit it sounds a little odd when used by a teacher to refer to each student submission.

On November 18, 1996, Jonathan Swift cites Eric Bakovic using the word “homeworks” on this list (http://www.americandialect.org/americandialectarchives/june98.txt <http://www.americandialect.org/americandialectarchives/june98.txt>).

Most spellcheck programs allow you to add words, so it should be fairly easy to eliminate the problem of your software flagging it.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

> On 23 Dec 2016, at 06:34, Joe Salmons <jsalmons at WISC.EDU> wrote:
> Wilson,
> I’ve used that for a roughly a gazillion years and it STILL bugs me when spellcheck flags it (in Word, Mail and everywhere else). When you’re doing a syllabus or talking about grading, I have different kinds of assignments and a homework is one kind. You’ve got two oral presentations, one paper, and 8 homeworks, or whatever. It’s a case where I always wonder ‘how else am I supposed to say that?’.
> Joe
>> On Dec 23, 2016, at 8:27 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> From a post by the head of the MIT linguistics dept.:
>> "... she can now grade _homeworks_."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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