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In the context:

We are always looking forward to incorporating new talents to our team!

Is it OK to pluralize it? Why?

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As noted in answers, plural talents is ok; but "incorporating ... to" perhaps should be "incorporating ... into" –  jwpat7 Dec 15 '11 at 21:00
    
LeBron James: "I'm taking my talents to South Beach" –  LarsTech Dec 15 '11 at 23:18
    
I feel like the most common usage of this phrase or phrases like it would mean "incorporating new people into our team", but it's possible the OP means that they will be teaching people to new skills, and possibly uncovering new talents in the process. –  Kate Sep 25 at 23:56

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes.

Talent, like stone or rock, can be either a Mass noun (without plural: a lot of talent/stone/rock), or a Count noun (which can have plurals: a lot of talents/stones/rocks) that indicates a particular variety or individual instance of whatever the corresponding Mass noun means.

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I am not sure if we could make a categorical statement that it is OK. –  Kris Dec 16 '11 at 10:02
    
Guilty until proven innocent? –  John Lawler Dec 16 '11 at 16:28

If your team were acquiring new skills, those would be new talents that your team could show off.

Michael is a man of many talents.

In this case, however, talent is more likely referring to people, and is already plural.

The talent had to be paid for their labors.

Thus, assuming that you are talking about people and not skills, the answer is "No," pluralizing it is wrong, for the same reason that "sheeps" would be wrong.

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Talent can be used as a countable noun to refer to a person good at something or as an uncountable noun to refer to people good at something. Both talent (uncountable) and talents (countable) may be used in your example.

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Not OK.

In the context: We are always looking forward to incorporating new talents to our team!

Obviously, you want to induct new talent into the team. Whether by way of new employees or employees with newer set of talents, you would still induct new talent, not talents.

On the other hand, if your intention is to train some of your existing team members in skills which none of them possess now, you would look forward to incorporating new talents.

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It's quite reasonable to enumerate specific talents. Like we could say, "Mary has three great talents: singing, carpentry, and dentistry."

The English word "talent" comes from a Greek unit of money. The modern usage comes from a story in the Bible where people's abilities are described as being given to them in trust for them to use effectively, like a boss might trust employees to oversee a budget, and so it talks about one employee being given five talents, another three, and another only one, and how each was praised or criticized for how much he did with what he was given, rather than being compared to each other. Anyway, my point is, the origin of the word comes from a context where counting them made perfect sense.

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FYI, the parable of the talents has 5, 2, and 1, not 3. Picky, I know. –  Affable Geek Dec 30 '11 at 0:04
    
@Affable: Oops. –  Jay Dec 31 '11 at 4:38

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