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4
votes
1answer
63 views

Letter E as indication of plural

There is something that is puzzling me: how does etymology explains why the letter E has became a representative of plural? Tooth - Teeth Foot - Feet Man - Men Woman - Women Goose - Geese I ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

“Goose”–“geese” vs. “moose”–“moose”

Why is it that the plural of one goose is geese but the plural of moose is moose? Same goes for house and louse. The plurals are houses and lice, respectively.
48
votes
7answers
5k views

Was “book” to “beek” as “foot” is to “feet”?

"Foot" is a curious word in English because it is pluralized in an unusual way; the "oo" in the word is changed to "ee". Did this once use to be a standard way of pluralizing things in English (or a ...
6
votes
4answers
924 views

Pluralization of Germanisms

The German noun "Ansatz" is widely used (at least) in physics and, less frequently, in math texts in English. I have seen it always in singular though and now I must use its (English) plural. The ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Origin of the word “elder” [closed]

I was wondering if this word is in anyway related to some ancient diety or religion, if so which ?
26
votes
3answers
7k views

Why is 'sheep' the same when talking about one or more than one?

I am trying to find out why sheep has the plural sheep. I have found different explanations, such as, "it is because they were seen as uncountable, as in 'a herd of sheep'", "because it comes from ...
3
votes
2answers
545 views

Irregular plurals. Leathermans or Leathermen?

Which plural do you use for a word that should have a regular plural but ends with a word that has its own irregular one? The example that made me ask was "leatherman" (the multitool) but there are ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

When is it correct to not use the irregular form for a plural? e.g. mouses vs. mice

I seem to recall that an English teacher somewhere along the course of my education had indicated that when referencing distinct types of a word, e.g. a computer mouse and the mammal, it would be ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Irregular plurality situations in English

Why do some nouns in English not take the plurality suffix in the plural form? Could you give me a list of plural nouns which don't take "-(e)s" suffix? For example, I know about "fish" and "sheep".