Thursday, August 02, 2012

Moose redux

I did some Googling around and it seems that, unlike the Elks, the Moose haven't regularized their name. That is, while "the Elks held (a picnic / a Show Off Your Doggie Show / a blood drive / their annual soccer shoot out)", there are no hits for "the Mooses held". Ditto on "the Elks sold" and "the Mooses sold" (once you weed out the hits for people named Moose and vehicles called the Moose).

That's an interesting exception to the rule.



At 2:56 PM, August 02, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

"Moose" can be plural as well as singular. Ditto for "sheep," "deer," "fish," "caribou"/"reindeer" -- heck, even "elk"! I shall defer to your superior linguistic training, that you might expound further on such collective (defective?) nouns?

At 3:33 PM, August 02, 2012 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

My point was that when such a noun - or any irregular noun - ceases to refer to its primary referent, it usually becomes regular. Hence, "the elk are moving down from the ranges" but "the Elks are holding an auction", just as "the maples leaves are falling from the trees" but "the Maple Leafs are falling in the standings", or "the marlin are running" but "the Marlins are winning".

"Moose" hasn't become "Mooses", as "the Timberwolves" haven't become "the Timberwolfs", and as computer mice aren't computer mouses. Occasionally an irregular paradigm is just too strong.

At 5:27 PM, August 02, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Don't you mean, "The Make Believes are falling in the standings"? LOL!


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