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Where did the singular “innings” come from?

Is there any difference between inning and innings? I think both can be used interchangeably.

But I haven't seen inning frequently used by any news channel or English newspaper. Is there any particular reason behind using innings more frequently than inning?

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Americans tend to use the singular, but Brits always use the plural. The (relatively few) counter-examples in that second link are probably mostly caused by mis-classification in Google Books. –  FumbleFingers Nov 25 '12 at 14:44
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marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Carlo_R., tchrist, Matt Эллен, MετάEd Nov 26 '12 at 16:09

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2 Answers

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The word in cricket is innings (which is singular). I believe the corresponding word in baseball is inning.

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@Collin Fole It means both words can't be used interchangeably? –  Sudhir Nov 25 '12 at 14:51
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Baseball requires the distinction because every game has many innings, each of which is an inning - the first inning, second inning, &c. My understanding is that in a cricket match each team has only one innings, so there's ordinarily no need to distinguish singular and plural. –  StoneyB Nov 25 '12 at 15:10
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A recognised cricketing authority uses his own plural, inningses, to make it clear when he's invoking the plural sense. Even though he only claims authority in his own field of expertise, I wouldn't argue with him - and I think he's actually found a sensible way of dealing with this corridor of uncertainty. –  Edwin Ashworth Nov 25 '12 at 15:52
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@EdwinAshworth- His name wouldn't be Gollum would it? –  Jim Nov 25 '12 at 16:47
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@StoneyB, wow - and yet this is a nation that claims to find cricket too complicated? –  mgb Nov 25 '12 at 21:49
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I can only answer with regards to American baseball (or softball), as I have no frame of reference for cricket. In baseball, inning is singular and innings is plural. So you can use both, but not interchangeably.

We will go get popcorn during the fifth inning.

They sing music during the seventh inning stretch.

He pitched for three innings.

Baseball normally lasts for nine innings.

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