Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

Parties and monkeys

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Páramo woolly baby donkey in Chimborazo, Ecuador
Image via Wikipedia

Spotted outside a pub:

‘Bookings being taken for Christmas partys’

That, of course, should be ‘parties’, ‘cos the rule is that when you pluralise a word ending in ‘y’, the ‘y’ becomes ‘ies’.

Of course, there are always exceptions. If there’s an ‘e’ before the ‘y’, just add an s. More than one donkey would be donkeys, and more than one monkey would be monkeys (and other non-animal related examples that I can’t think of at the moment).

Commonly confused and just plain wrong

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Written by Wordwatch

03/11/2009 at 3:48 pm

Posted in Wordwatching

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  1. More on plural endings from Guy Keleny in The Independent:

    Bad end: Tuesday’s Notebook pondered the use of electronic devices in public. British “hooliganism” in this respect was lamented, with a ghastly picture of “iPads sliding off laps at every turn, BlackBerries tweaked feverishly and phone calls shouted without a thought for those nearby”. I think that should be “BlackBerrys”, just as the American presidential family are the Kennedys, not the Kennedies, and the RAF combat aircraft are Tornados, not Tornadoes.

    English common nouns ending in –y following a consonant form their plurals in –ies (army – armies). Common nouns ending in –o take –oes (tomato – tomatoes). But these days, that does not apply to proper names; they have plurals in –ys and –os. I say “these days” in deference to the Victorian statesmen who used to worry about the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

    Deborah

    05/02/2011 at 2:45 pm


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