Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Plural or Singular?

Is the word trousers singular or plural? Onko sana housut yksikkö vai monikko? Le mot “pantalon” - singulier, bien sûr. Byxor, det är föstås pluralis. I pantaloni in italiano; plurale. Español, ay caramba, un pantalon/pantalones, it can swing both ways, also literally, on a clothes line, in a breeze. Hah hah. Hihat heilumaan pyykkinarulle.

But/mutta/mais/aber/però... the garment itself, kyseinen vaatekappale, is just one, isn’t it? Kaksi lahjetta, two trouser legs, mutta eivät ole irrallaan.

Think about that, while I make a list of other interesting words. These are in the plural in English, but not necessarily so in other languages.

scissors, (eye)glasses, shoes, tweezers

Hyvaa joulua and onnelista uutta vuotta.

I will take a wilde guess, plural.
Hello there

Why is the word hello spelt with two l's?
We only say one, when we speak. In the Finnish language the system is one l for a short sound, two for a long one. No way you can know this, but onnellista should be spelt with 2, because it's pronounced with 2, too. (Tou tou?) Who put the "hell" in Helsinki? After having said all that, I'm very impressed by your Finnish.

Your wild guess is half correct. I'd say the word trousers is plural, but the garment is just one piece of clothing, isn't it?

Incidentally, I spell welcome with just one l (I've just been to your blog and read what you wrote - very nice) and wild without the e at the end. Is that Canadian? It's a bit like French.

I would say that it is plural. One has a pair of trousers, even though it is one. That's odd, I know; but then there are many oddities in the English language.
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