I'm trying to say that each message can take some time to arrive (a delay), and that each such delay can have any value. So, which one of the following is the most appropriate?

There is no bound on message delay.


There is no bound on message delays.


There is no bound on messages delays.

Also, there is a number of processes, running at different speeds, and the speed difference is unbound. So a similar question would be what's the best combination of words for the following sentence?

There is no bound on relative process/processes speed/speeds?

  • 2
    The plural of "message delay" is "message delays". The plural of "process speed" is "process speeds". You wouldn't use the plural in the latter case, though, and likely not even in the former.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Dec 8, 2013 at 23:00

1 Answer 1


Singular/plural is only marked on the main noun so

"Message delay" is singular
"Message delays" is plural

The first of your sentences is probably what you want, since

"no bound on message delay" = there is no bound on the amount of delay
"no bound on message delays" = there is no bound on the number of delays

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