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I have a line in a poem using "myriad" as:

a myriad of movement the maze will flaunt.

Is this correct? If not, what would you suggest?

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    A myriad means "many" (or, in the old days, specifically "ten thousand"); therefore whatever it's modifying needs to be pluralized. I'll leave identifying the appropriate changes to the sentence as an exercise for you.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 17:32
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    "Myriad" is a word that never sounds quite right no matter how you use it.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 17:33
  • tinyurl.com/pgm33jy
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 17:58

1 Answer 1

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A myriad is a unit equal to 10,000 and is often used to mean "a great number".

Doing simple substitution shows the proper usage.

"A hundred movements", "A thousand movements", "A hundred horsemen", "A thousand horsemen"

"A myriad movements"

A googling of the phrase "A myriad movements" yields results from several published books.

"Hundreds of movements", "Thousands of movements", "Hundreds of horsemen", "Thousands of horsemen"

"Myriads of movements"

If you needed it for the meter, you could also say, "a myriad of movements" as per the dictionary explanation below.

From Merriam-Webster

Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.

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  • Of your suggestions, only "a myriad of movements" is correct. You wouldn't say "a myriad movements", you'd say "myriad movements"". "Myriads of movements" is also not right. Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 18:03
  • Hmm. A myriad is a unit like hundred, thousand, myriad, lakh, million, crore, billion, etc. Simply substitute. Why wouldn't you say "a myriad movements?" You would say "a myriad horseman" or "a hundred movements." You would also say "hundreds of movements" or "Hundreds of horsemen." Then why wouldn't you say "myriads of movements?" Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 18:10
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    I'm thinking "myriad movements" as of now.
    – cyberator
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 18:20
  • Because "it t'aint right!". Actually, this question has a myriad of helpful information regarding standard usage of "myriad". english.stackexchange.com/questions/20133/… Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 18:20
  • are you saying "myriad movements" is not right?
    – cyberator
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 18:23

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