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Why does "Results Processor" sound correct? A follow-up question would be, is it in fact grammatically correct? Plug in other plural words, though, like "Scans Processor" or "Apples Processor" and it doesn't sound right at all.

Is "Results" acting as a plural noun in that phrase or something else? Google shows that "results" is also a third person present verb, but I wouldn't think a verb fits in front of "processor" like that.

Can someone explain?

  • I apologize if this is a dupe. I didn't see anything in similar questions or searches, but I honestly don't know what terms I'm looking for to explain this. – Bob Nov 19 '15 at 21:50
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    If "scans" or "apples" denotes a processable (and countable) entity in your system there is nothing wrong with the terms. Likely your ear is familiar with hearing "the results from xxx" but not "the scans from xxx" or "the apples from xxx". But if you only ever have one "scan" or "apple" at a time (vs processing several together in a "batch") then the word should be in singular form. – Hot Licks Nov 19 '15 at 22:03
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    I don't think it's an obvious dup (I certainly can't recall or locate an "original"). As a (well-)seasoned native speaker I agree that results processor/processing sounds at least "credible", whereas normally you wouldn't want to use a plural in such constructions. I'm currently baffled too - good question! – FumbleFingers Nov 19 '15 at 22:06
  • @FumbleFingers that's good to hear, that means I'm not going crazy :) I was worried that maybe my brain was just playing tricks on me and that this apparent discrepancy was an illusion – Bob Nov 19 '15 at 22:11
  • ...there's Adjectival noun - singular or plural or both?, which may well be effectively the same question. But it's only got one answer, and no upvotes for either question or answer, so I wouldn't closevote against it anyway. – FumbleFingers Nov 19 '15 at 22:18
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It's because "results" is acting as an uncountable noun when you use it that way. (The word "results" is special because it can be countable or uncountable in different situations.) What goes into the processor is a lot of stuff that's generally called "results", not "result number one", "result number two", and so on.

Other uncountable nouns work fine in the same position: rice processor, clothing processor, etc.

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