Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

marked as duplicate by tchrist, RegDwigнt Jan 17 '13 at 9:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
This may be different based on one's dialect, but for me (American speaker) only Country List and List of Countries are correct. –  user21497 Jan 17 '13 at 7:07
2  
@BillFranke- Interestingly, if you add an adjective then countries becomes viable: banned countries list, first-world countries list, etc. So then can you elide the adjective and get countries list? –  Jim Jan 17 '13 at 7:12
    
@Jim good point, but then it sounds exactly like the possessive form, i.e. countries' list. –  Magnus Jan 17 '13 at 7:19
    
@tchrist - User's Guide / Users' Guide, in here Guide can be taken as a sigular ! so i am not sure how countries list could be similar to them Bill thanks bro, it is an interesting share Jim thanks mate, my notion here to use "Countries List" was to have a short title –  Abhilash Jan 17 '13 at 7:21
    
@Jim: Yes, Banned Countries List etc. is perfectly normal to me. One can do that elision thing with math, and with natural language in a piece of discourse, but not as a rule of thumb: No one will know where it came from, because elision isn't always detectable. I think that Countries List may be normal British English, though. –  user21497 Jan 17 '13 at 7:27

2 Answers 2

Surely it's obvious that the list is a list. If this is a title and it needs to be as short as possible, then just head the page

Countries

as that is a perfectly adequate description of the content. To add List is at best superfluous and at worst treating your users like idiots.

As such, this is not the same question as one about whether to use an apostrophe as in Users/User's/Users' Guide because for a book title you do need the word Guide. Even if "Countries" is a link with no visible content, it's unlikely to need List: it's likely to be more useful if it were worded "Choose a country".

share|improve this answer

My gut feeling (British) says that a list always takes a singular form to qualify what kind of list it is, unless you use list of .... My gut also insists that list of countries sounds more natural.

If you used a plural form then it'd also end up being somewhat easily confused with the possessive form - i.e. the countries' list or the country's list.

share|improve this answer
    
Yeah same here, i also feel that List of countries sound more natural but is usage of "Country List" correct ? Note: I have to keep the title as short as possible –  Abhilash Jan 17 '13 at 7:24
    
I'd say it's grammatically correct, and if your goal is an extremely short title then go for it. At the very least it should cause less confusion when people read it out loud ;). –  Magnus Jan 17 '13 at 7:25

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.