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.

In the online game "Travian" the following sentence is used:

"Your barracks is finished. A good step towards world domination.”

Shouldn't it be:

Your barracks are finished

or

Your barrack is finished

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

"Barracks" can be either singular or plural.

Plural in the context of "one barrack, two barracks," etc.

But "barracks" could also refer to a COMPLEX of military installations. In that case, "your barracks is finished," means "your military complex is finished," singular.

Yes, it's "computergamese."

share|improve this answer
add comment

No, oddly enough, barracks is a singular as well as a plural. Barrack exists, but only in barrack block, one constituent of a barracks, or metaphorical contexts such as 'a gloomy barrack of a place'. And many computer games allow you to put a Barracks (and, e.g. a Temple) in each of your cities: I would think "Your Barracks are finished" would mean you have one in each city, similar to "Your Temples are finished".

share|improve this answer
1  
Here's an excerpt with a barracks was and the barracks is in two consecutive sentences for any who still doubt. –  FumbleFingers Jul 26 '11 at 14:01
1  
Since this seems to have drawn interest: a barracks, to the military mind, is not a military base, but a compound where troops live, typically comprising a mess hall, an ablutions block, and several large dormitory/kit storage buildings. Each of these is a barrack, but to avoid confusion the plural is generally barrack blocks or barrack-rooms –  TimLymington Jul 27 '11 at 10:03
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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