Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
Welcome to the Monastery
 
PerlMonks  

Re: The plural of "athlete's foot" is...

by LAI (Hermit)
on May 02, 2003 at 18:45 UTC ( #255123=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to The plural of "athlete's foot" is...

print $user->{'pedant'} ? << 'END_RANT'

There is no plural to "athlete's foot". It is a massive noun, like "butter" or "foo".

END_RANT : << 'END_LEVITY';

Sure, the plural of butter is "butters" as in, "there are only two butters in this basket, but five breads." So, the plural of "athlete's foot" is "athletes' foots".

And no plural for "foo"? haven't you heard of foosball?

END_LEVITY

Hell, I'm not even sure if mixing here documents into trinary tests is legal, but whatever.

LAI

__END__


Comment on Re: The plural of "athlete's foot" is...
Select or Download Code
Re: Re: The plural of "athlete's foot" is...
by MrYoya (Monk) on May 02, 2003 at 20:15 UTC
    Yes, this is what I was thinking too.
    Since its a mass noun (massive noun?), it would need a quantifier word such as "cases" or "problems" to refer to multiple instances. So you would say "There are three cases of athlete's foot".

    However, you can also say "There are several itchy athlete's foots available". I think there's some kind of rule in English where you can just add an "s" or "es" to any noun to make it plural.

      However, you can also say "There are several itchy athlete's foots available". I think there's some kind of rule in English where you can just add an "s" or "es" to any noun to make it plural.

      Maybe you meant "There are several itchy athlete's feet available."
      :-)

      No Peace Without War!
        You're right. What I meant was that, aside from the irregularly pluralized nouns, you can add "es" or "s". For example, the word "virus" has no plural in Latin, but we pluralize it to "viruses" -- a Latin word with an Anglo suffix.

        Since "athlete's foot" is a mass noun, it was questionable whether it even had a plural. But, on page 61 of A Concise Grammar of Contemporary English by Quirk and Greenbaum, it says "Virtually all non-count nouns can be treated as count nouns when used in classificatory senses:
        There are several French wines available (= kinds of wine)

        If it's a count noun, it has a plural. I mistakenly thought that since it was a compound noun, the plural would be formed like "${noun}s" or "${noun}es". But according to this page, it appears that "athlete's foot" undergoes regular plural inflection and thus the rightmost word would become plural. According to this logic, "athlete's foot" does have a plural and that plural is "athlete's feet".
        That, and googling "athelete's feet" returns about 80x the results of "athlete's foots" ;)

Re^2: The plural of "athlete's foot" is... (on heredocs)
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on May 03, 2003 at 01:49 UTC
    Yes it is. You can use here documents anywhere a string is legal, in fact, you can even chain them:
    print $cond ? << 'HERE' : << 'DOC'; foo bar HERE baz quux DOC
    Although that gets unreadable real quick like.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

Log In?
Username:
Password:

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: note [id://255123]
help
Chatterbox?
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others surveying the Monastery: (10)
As of 2014-09-02 23:48 GMT
Sections?
Information?
Find Nodes?
Leftovers?
    Voting Booth?

    My favorite cookbook is:










    Results (34 votes), past polls