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5th Mar '07Back Where We Belongby elt
Congratulations to the 1st Men and 1st Women, who ended Saturday's racing with commanding rows over as Head of the River in their respective divisions.

The 2nd Men and 2nd Women also won their oars this week with a fine display of dominance lower down, each bumping on every night of racing.

Race reports here.
by RTT - Mon 5th Mar 2007, 7:50pm
elt said: commanding rows over
The ATF welcomes you.
by BJ - Tue 6th Mar 2007, 1:24am
RTT said: The ATF welcomes you.
I didn't know that Erica had started a career in Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The 30 most recent of the 31 remaining posts in this thread are shown below
Expand to show all 34 posts
by RTT - Tue 6th Mar 2007, 8:20pm
James said: Impressive knowledge of American bureaucracy!
I bet American Studies is one of his GCsSE
by Albert - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 12:23am
Aren't there only 50 states?
by Honey - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 3:26am
Yes, there are. Hawaii being the 50th.

Clearly studying across the pond means Albert and I are fountains of knowledge of all things American. I've even 'learned' how to cox in American and say 'boo-ee' instead of 'buoy'.
by Simon - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 8:04am
Honey said: I've even 'learned' how to cox in American and say 'boo-ee' instead of 'buoy'.
Way enough!
by Andy - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 9:12am
Canada and Britain?
by Simon - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 10:58am
RTT said: I bet American Studies is one of his GCsSE
I've just been reading yesterday's Hansard and noted that both Lord Baker and the Government got this wrong in a written answer. You should write and complain.
by Neil T - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 11:48am
Simon said: I've just been reading yesterday's Hansard and noted that both Lord Baker and the Government got this wrong in a written answer. You should write and complain.
I don't think 'GCSEs' is wrong; in fact, I'm not sure 'GCsSE' is correct. Fowler gives 'MPs' as an example of the plural of an abbreviation. Certainly, MOD policy (and presumably Government policy) is to add an 's' to all abbreviations: the plural of 'Commander-in-Chief' is 'Commanders-in-Chief', but the plural of 'CinC' is 'CinCs'.

Interestingly, Fowler also notes the irregular plurals 'gin-and-tonics' and 'whisky-and-sodas' (not 'gins-and-tonic' etc), and states that an apostrophe in the plural of a letter (as in 'mind your p's and q's') is 'obligatory'.
by Mike - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 12:10pm
Neil T said: Interestingly, Fowler also notes the irregular plurals 'gin-and-tonics' and 'whisky-and-sodas' (not 'gins-and-tonic' etc)
There is a world of difference between gin-and-tonics and gins-and-tonic...
by pedant - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 12:41pm
The Chicago Manual of Style says:

5.19 Compound nouns
Compound nouns that consist of separate words (with or without hyphens) form the plural by adding the appropriate ending to the noun or, if there is more than one, to the main noun.
{brother in arms: brothers in arms}
{court martial: courts martial}
{motion picture: motion pictures}.
...but that is an American reference text.
by Neil T - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 12:49pm
pedant said: ...but that is an American reference text.
That's what Fowler says as well; the alcoholic examples are apparently exceptions.

In the last week I've seen 'courts marshal' instead of 'courts martial' and 'marshall' for 'marshal'. Haven't yet seen 'court marshalls', but I live in hope/despair.
by Simon - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 12:57pm
Neil T said: Certainly, MOD policy (and presumably Government policy) is to add an 's' to all abbreviations...
After October I'll be drafting these questions twice a month so I'll be able to let you know what the rules are then... I suspect they vary between departments - maybe one of the Cabinet Office members of BPBC needs to write a Central Government style guide.
by Off topic, but who isn't? - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 1:22pm
Does this all costitute Racing News?
by Neil T - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 1:28pm
Off topic, but who isn't? said: Does this all costitute Racing News?
Depends on what 'costitute' means, I suppose.

Still, good to have a word to rhyme with 'prostitute' at last. Find me another and I'll write you a limerick.
by mjb - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 1:31pm
Neil T said: Still, good to have a word to rhyme with 'prostitute' at last. Find me another and I'll write you a limerick.
'destitute' might rhyme sufficiently for limerick purposes
by Edward Lear - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 1:41pm
mjb said: 'destitute' might rhyme sufficiently for limerick purposes
There once was a banker* named Byrne
For whom rhyme was a cause for concern
He suggested that 'destitute'
Was a partner for 'prostitute'
When in fact it is clear that it's not.

*This may be inaccurate (sorry if it is), especially in light of this.
by BJ - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 1:44pm
Neil T said: Depends on what 'costitute' means, I suppose.

Still, good to have a word to rhyme with 'prostitute' at last. Find me another and I'll write you a limerick.
I considered abusing my powers to correct this, but since no one else can I couldn't be bothered. On a page of pedantry there's always someone to correct you.

My rhyming dictionary (thank you NW1!) has over two columns of words that rhyme with 'prostitute', including 'bald as a coot', 'beaut', 'birthday suit' and'Canute' but none that end 'ostitute'.
by Now late for sculling. - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 2:13pm
1) what is the plural of 'all in one'? I would say it's 'all in ones', as 'alls in one' is ridiculous. discuss.
2) Neil, no wonder the military can't spell or construct grammatically correct sentences, since you spend all your time on this website rather than correcting their grammar. I would say do some work, but I'm currently writing this from the boathouse. p.s. If you correct any of this, you will be court martialled(correct british spelling apparently) and shot. maybe more than once.
3) There must be more words that rhyme with Byrne?
by gf - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 3:17pm
Now late for sculling. said: 1) what is the plural of 'all in one'?
"some in some"?

or, to make it clear that the two instances of "some" are equal to one another, "n in n"?

Or by "plural" I suppose one might be referring to multiple people inside the same lycra garment, in which case it would be a "some in one" or "several in one"...

...then again, you could mean one person wearing multiple lycra outfits, in which case "all in two", "all in three", etc...
by Mike - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 3:17pm
Now late for sculling. said: 1) what is the plural of 'all in one'?
Kind of related: What is the plural of "hole in one"? I would definitely say "hole in ones", because "holes in one" (as Fowler might suggest is correct) implies that you have completed more than one hole while taking exactly one shot.

However, a Google search gives 191,000 hits for "holes in one" (including the official sites for the PGA and the Masters) but only 48,000 for "hole in ones". The OED doesn't explicitly give a plural, but does give two examples of usage that say "holes in one". So I guess I'm outvoted.
by never had one, but did once win a fourball match thanks to my playing partner's one on the 17th - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 3:28pm
Mike said: Kind of related: What is the plural of "hole in one"?
...and I guess we're really aiming at something which either is or conveys "holes in one each"...
by Dubya - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 7:23pm
Is the plural of thesis theses?
by RTT - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 7:32pm
Dubya said: Is the plural of thesis theses?
Are you planning on another one then?

Or just looking for a rhyme with faeces?
by RTT - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 8:17pm
Another interesting plural appears in one of the poll suggestions this week: WAGs.

I think I'm correct in saying that WAG refers to Wives And Girlfriends, in which case it presumably doesn't need an s on the end? Or if it does, it ought to be WsAGs? Also, is it possible to have fewer than four WAG? I'd suggest not (although in the case of extra-marital affairs I suppose you could get away with two).
by When did I become such a grammar nazi? - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 8:56pm
RTT said: Another interesting plural appears in one of the poll suggestions this week: WAGs.

I think I'm correct in saying that WAG refers to Wives And Girlfriends, in which case it presumably doesn't need an s on the end? Or if it does, it ought to be WsAGs? Also, is it possible to have fewer than four WAG? I'd suggest not (although in the case of extra-marital affairs I suppose you could get away with two).
Theses is def right isn't it? that's what I was always taught. (Sort of) relatedly my (engineering) friend almost had a fit when she proof read my draft paper - she used a big red pen and corrected 'these data' to 'this data' a number of times.
Surely describing someone as a 'WAG' makes no grammatical sense anyway - certainly WsAGs (Wivess and Girlfriendss) makes no sense (similarly WAGs). So perhaps you're right, and they must always come in groups of at least two. And if they're in groups of less than four, you know someone's shagging someone they shouldn't be.
n in n. love it. or perhaps as you suggest, they should always be referred to as n in m, allowing you to specify exactly how many items of clothing you are talking about, and how many people are wearing (each?) item. This could get complicated. And potentially keep me entertained, and away from any sort of work for the next many hours.
by Dubya - Thu 8th Mar 2007, 11:16pm
I'm sure these data is alright, so long as elsewhere in the paper you say 'this datum'. Maybe data should be in italics if you want to use it as a plural. In fact why not write your paper in Latin? Sorry, 3rd cocktail...
by RTT - Fri 9th Mar 2007, 12:24am
Dubya said: these data is alright
Errr.....

;-P
by unit of time - Fri 9th Mar 2007, 8:47am
Dubya said: I'm sure these data is alright
Yes, data is supposed to be plural, so 'these data' is right. My supervisor did not allow me to use it as a singular noun.
by gf - Fri 9th Mar 2007, 9:58am
RTT said: Errr.....

;-P
Am I right in assuming that what has so perturbed you here is that, whilst '"these data" is alright' might be valid, without the quotation marks the only correct formation is 'these data are correct'?
by jpd - Fri 9th Mar 2007, 11:13am
gf said: Am I right in assuming that what has so perturbed you here is that, whilst '"these data" is alright' might be valid, without the quotation marks the only correct formation is 'these data are correct'?
Indeed, I'm sure RTT was pointing out the is as being incorrect and not the these.

Perhaps the unassuming singular for wives and girlfriends could be wife or girlfriend. Obviously there are many pluralisation opportunities depending on the group you're describing, although how you'd abbreviate these... (sorry)

Using the singular WAG (wife and girlfriend) could be quite descriptive.
by still baffled - Fri 9th Mar 2007, 4:57pm
so what does ATF stand for?

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