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Can confusion be spelled as a plural, as in:

The child must sort out confusions of voice-to-print while reading.

I thought confusion was "global" enough to mean "more than one."

Can it be plural?

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  • Sounds perfectly natural to me. Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 5:41
  • The word is used as a mass (uncountable) noun most of the time, but has a countable noun usage. Confusion: The mistaking of one person or thing for another: [COUNT NOUN]: most of the errors are reasonable confusions between similar words.
    – user140086
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 5:48
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    – user140086
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 5:51
  • Thank you, Rathony! This was for an educator, and i thought perhaps it was a "normal usage" for teachers, etc. I have never seen it as a plural, so I thought I'd better ask. I appreciate the input! ;-)
    – SueW
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 18:40

2 Answers 2

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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, yes.

Most of the errors are reasonable confusions between similar words or sequences of words.

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  • Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO) is not the same as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which is subscription-only. But +1 anyway. Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 12:19
  • Clearly I should have checked my OED. :-) Thanks for your help!
    – SueW
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 18:40
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Many words which denote abstractions can be used both as mass nouns and as count nouns, meaning "an instance of the abstraction". "Confusion" is just one example.

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  • Thank you! I appreciate all who weighed in. Just because I had never encountered that word didn't mean it wasn't legit. :-)
    – SueW
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 18:41

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