0

In the sentence below, is "waste" grammatically appropriate because "Category A" is a group of medical waste?

"What treatment methods are used for Ebola or other Category A medical wastes?"

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Jun 15 at 2:36
1

"What treatment methods are used for Ebola or other Category A medical waste?"

The use of the conjunction OR means you would use a singular noun, regardless of any other possibilities, as there is only one category here with an or.

  • French bread
  • sliced bread

*Do you want to serve French or sliced bread at the dinner?*

Breads would not work here. [Yeah, I know you could, if you really wanted to, come up with a plural if there were different kinds of French bread and sliced bread but here they are categories of bread, so please do not.]

Medical waste of the same category (infectious waste) would not take an s.

[Sorry, no reference as this question should probably be on ELL anyway.]

  • You're choosing a noun with a different distribution. Why not '"What treatment methods are used for Ebola or other Category A medical wastes?" to mean "What treatment methods are used for Ebola or the wastes associated with other Category A pathogens?" The 'or' simply indicates that the questioner is asking for an answer referencing one of the pathogens. 'Household waste' has a very different distribution. Analogies using other nouns / attributed nouns don't work here. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 14 at 18:00
  • @EdwinAshworth Because generally medical waste is singular especially when an or conjunction is used for a single category. Major or minor waste. My answer coheres with the OP's question and you are mucking it and me around. – Lambie Jun 14 at 18:13
  • There are 238 000 Google Hits for "medical wastes", some from reference works, some from prestigious bodies such as EPA. / Ebola and Marburg wastes can be seen as different categories. It depends what you're emphasising. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 14 at 18:26
  • @EdwinAshworth "medical and other waste": Google: About 112,000 results (0.25 seconds)||"medical and other wastes: Google: About 36,200 results (0.45 seconds)||and the plural wastes, for medical and other wastes: 7 hits. My main point was about the conjunction or and the single usage as waste in the OP's question refers to a single type: infectious waste or health care waste. – Lambie Jun 14 at 18:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.