Youth or youths

Youth is the age range when a human is young, or before the person reaches adulthood. The word youth can also be used to describe a group of young people, regardless of age. It is also a common adjective for things that are created specifically for youth. Something can be in its youth if it is newly created. A youth is also a teenage boy or young man. Only this last definition has a plural form of youths. All other uses of the word are already plural or a mass noun. Sometimes it can be … [Read more...]

Letter names

Each letter of the English alphabet can be spelled as itself (e.g., a DJ or T-shirt) or it can be spelled out using its name (e.g., a deejay or tee-shirt). Vowels still stand for themselves, and while very rare, the plural of vowels are made by adding -es. In the capitalized form the plurals are made by either -s or -'s (e.g., L's or As). Spelling letters usually occurs in compound names or derivatives. These spellings are different than the phonetic alphabet used to distinguish similar … [Read more...]

Thesauri or thesaurusus

A thesaurus is a reference which allows a person to look up synonyms, and sometimes antonyms, for words or phrases. It comes from the Greek thēsauros, which meant a treasury. The adverbial derivative is thesaural. As with other word that have stayed largely unchanged from their origin in Greek or Latin, the Latin pluralization is correct, thesauri. However, as with other words that have been adopted into the English language for centuries, the English pluralization is also … [Read more...]

Addenda vs addendums

An addendum is an additional item, usually to a document or book. Commonly it includes omissions or other missing material from the original. The dictionary lists addenda and addendums as recognized plural forms of this word. Addenda is the original Latin plural. However, addendum has been an established English word since the mid-sixteenth century, and as such has taken on the English plural of addendums. Addendum also has a definition as an Engineering term. It is the radial distance … [Read more...]

Matrix

Matrix has many meanings. It can be a pattern created by lines crossing to make spaces. It can be a surrounding structure in which something develops. This can be a set of conditions, a situation, or an actual structure. A matrix is also a diagram showing the line of command in an organization. Another definition of matrix is a mold in which something is cast. In Mathematics it is chart of values that is treated as one entity and has certain rules. The plural form of matrix can … [Read more...]

Cause celebre

cause

A cause celebre is something that garners a lot of public attention, usually a famous incident or legal case. It literally means famous case in French. Also, In French it is spelled , but the accent marks are usually omitted in English, as shown by the ngram below. It is grammatically correct either way. The plural is causes celebres or causes célèbres. Examples The cases of Rojo and Slimani became Sporting’s cause célèbre of the summer, the hierarchy outraged at perceived … [Read more...]

Moose vs. mooses

A moose is a large animal with antlers that is found in the northern forests of America, Europe, and Asia.  It is of the deer family. The plural form is moose, not mooses or meese. Though Mooses is a surname. Nouns like moose and sheep, which do not change from their singular to plural form, are called invariants. They fall in the category of irregular plurals. Note: Invariant is not a grammatical term and can have a wider meaning. For terms like glasses and pants, which do not exist in … [Read more...]

Teeth vs. teethe

Teeth is the plural of tooth. It's only a noun. Teethe, with that third e, is a verb meaning to grow teeth. It's inflected teething, teethed, and teethes. Teethe is often used metaphorically to mean to pass through early stages of development. This sense is especially common in phrases such as teething problems and teething troubles, referring to early difficulties in a growth or development process. The verb is usually pronounced with a soft th, like the one in breathe and … [Read more...]

Timpanum, timpani, tympanum, tympani

People familiar with music terms use timpanum for a single kettledrum, and timpani (the Latin plural of timpanum) for multiple drums. For all senses of the word unrelated to music (mainly in biology, zoology, and architecture), tympanum and tympani are the preferred spellings. Anyone not comfortable with these Latin-derived terms might understandably use English plural forms instead of the traditional Latin ones. Timpani, for instance, often appears in reference to a single drum, but … [Read more...]

Conches vs. conchs

There are two ways to pronounce the noun conch---which refers to a variety of sea mollusks and their large shells---and how you pronounce it determines its plural. The more common pronunciation is with a hard k sound at the end, so that the word rhymes with honk. For this pronunciation, the plural is conchs. The other pronunciation is with a ch sound at the end, so that it rhymes with launch (in U.S. pronunciation, at least). The plural for this pronunciation is conches. The word exists in … [Read more...]

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