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“User accounts” or “users account?”

I ask because a list of tasks would usually be called a "task list". However a list or previous winners of a competition seems to be called a "winners list" rather than a "winner list". Thanks.

marked as duplicate by Robusto, Kit Z. Fox, Matt E. Эллен, simchona, kiamlaluno Feb 24 '12 at 20:34

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In constructions like this you generally use the singular, although there are exceptions. Some of these exceptions may be attempts to avoid ambiguity (for example, a sundry store might be a store that is sundry, rather than a store that sells sundries; a sundries store is unambiguous). Other exceptions seem not to have a reason.

This is a perfect question for Ngrams, and here is the answer:

Ngram token(s) list

So use the singular.

  • How does this account for the use of "token" as an adjective meaning "done for the sake of appearances or as a symbolic gesture"? – Robusto Feb 24 '12 at 13:12
  • @Robusto: that question has nothing to do with this one, and if it's not easily answered by searching, you could ask it here as a new question. – Peter Shor Feb 24 '12 at 13:28
  • I was making a comment on your NGram search. Part of your result has to include false positives that result from the usage I described. – Robusto Feb 24 '12 at 13:31
  • @Robusto: I see. Checking the results shows that these usages are a very small percentage of the hits. – Peter Shor Feb 24 '12 at 13:34
  • I think @Robusto's question is relevant here. Sundry store is ambiguous, token list is ambiguous for the same reason. However I would say "token list" anyway. Context is everything. – slim Feb 24 '12 at 14:16

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