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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.

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  • If every individual item on said list is to consist of just one singular token (not two or more tokens) each, then "token list" would be most apt; otherwise, "tokens list" would be. Surrounding context in the former case shall differentiate intended meaning-construct from the more-standard adjectival meaning's usage of 'token'.
    – 11qq00
    Oct 7, 2021 at 17:45

1 Answer 1

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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.

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  • 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, 2012 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. Feb 24, 2012 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, 2012 at 13:31
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    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, 2012 at 14:16
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    Possibly because people rarely have reason to refer to a list made for symbolic purposes. Maybe something like, "The secret police demanded he divulge the names of all other malcontents he knew, but he gave them only a token list of people they already knew about."
    – Jay
    Feb 24, 2012 at 15:19

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