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Re: "mains"

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  • melvyn.geo
    ... This issue cropped up a few months back and I seem to recall Jirka B. pointed out that plural noun modifiers are nothing particularly anomalous (words to
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 9, 2009
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      --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, James Kirchner <jpklists@...> wrote:

      > If anyone can explain the semantic and grammatical logic of forming
      > compounds with "mains" this way, I'd appreciate it.

      This issue cropped up a few months back and I seem to recall Jirka B. pointed out that plural noun modifiers are nothing particularly anomalous (words to that effect).

      I quote from Practical English Usage by Michael Swan (International Student's Edition) p. 532: Singular and plural noun modifiers.

      Some nouns have the plural -s even when they modify other nouns. These include nouns which have no singular form (like clothes), nouns which are not used in the singular with the same meaning (like customs) and some nouns which are more often used in the plural than in the singular (like savings). In some cases (e.g. sport(s), drug(s)), usage is divided, and both singular and plural forms are found. In general, the use of plural modifiers is becoming more common in British English; American English often has singular forms where British has plurals. Some examples:
      a clothes shop
      a savings account
      a glasses case
      the accounts department
      a customs officer
      the sales department
      arms control
      an antique(s) dealer
      the outpatients department
      a greetings card (US greeting card)
      the arrivals hall (US arrival hall)
      a drinks cabinet (US drink cabinet)
      a goods train (BrEng)
      a sports car
      sport(s) shoes

      Do any of these forms sound very odd to you?

      HTH

      M.
    • James Kirchner
      Apparently I m not so amazing. Over the weekend I ve asked several people who should know, including engineers, skilled tradesmen at factories and people who
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 12, 2009
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        Apparently I'm not so amazing. Over the weekend I've asked several
        people who should know, including engineers, skilled tradesmen at
        factories and people who rehab houses, and they have never heard
        "mains" used in compounds involving electrical wiring. At first they
        think I mean "main", and when I tell them it's "mains", they are
        mystified by the expressions.

        I have also searched the websites of several power companies, and none
        of them use the word "mains" in reference to the electrical lines, but
        use it only for pipes transporting water, steam and gas.

        Clearly these compounds like "mains adaptor", "mains cable", etc., are
        provincial usage and suitable only for materials that will absolutely
        be confined to the UK. Anything intended to be in "international
        English" should use "electrical", "power" or some other less opaque
        term.

        Jamie

        On Jul 9, 2009, at 3:01 AM, Simon Vollam wrote:

        > > Despite having had to read at technical material from various
        > > countries for decades, last week was the first time in my entire
        > life
        > > that I had ever encountered the word "mains" used that way,
        >
        > You amaze me.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Charlie Stanford
        Not sure about the absolutely confined to the UK Jamie and provincial usage !!! We like to think of ourselves as the epicentre of English..... This is all
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 12, 2009
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          Not sure about the "absolutely confined to the UK" Jamie and "provincial usage"!!! We like to think of ourselves as the epicentre of English..... This is all very depressing - has the sun finally set on the BrEng empire? Or are you just taking the mickey/livening things up? The question you originally asked was "How often do the British use the word "mains" in the electrical sense". If the answer is "all the time", then I think you are hard pushed to draw the conclusion that it is "provincial English". Wikipedia warns that "mains electricity" is not often used in the US and Canada - that's as maybe, but I am not sure that relegates the term to "provincial usage´"! I am pretty sure that South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders, Africans of all persuasions, Indians etc. would understand what is meant by "the mains".



          ----- Original Message -----
          From: James Kirchner
          To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2009 9:34 PM
          Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Re: "mains"





          Apparently I'm not so amazing. Over the weekend I've asked several
          people who should know, including engineers, skilled tradesmen at
          factories and people who rehab houses, and they have never heard
          "mains" used in compounds involving electrical wiring. At first they
          think I mean "main", and when I tell them it's "mains", they are
          mystified by the expressions.

          I have also searched the websites of several power companies, and none
          of them use the word "mains" in reference to the electrical lines, but
          use it only for pipes transporting water, steam and gas.

          Clearly these compounds like "mains adaptor", "mains cable", etc., are
          provincial usage and suitable only for materials that will absolutely
          be confined to the UK. Anything intended to be in "international
          English" should use "electrical", "power" or some other less opaque
          term.

          Jamie

          On Jul 9, 2009, at 3:01 AM, Simon Vollam wrote:

          > > Despite having had to read at technical material from various
          > > countries for decades, last week was the first time in my entire
          > life
          > > that I had ever encountered the word "mains" used that way,
          >
          > You amaze me.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • James Kirchner
          If it s not often used in the US and Canada (and I would confirm that it s virtually NEVER used), and if people involved in the technical professions here
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 12, 2009
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            If it's not often used in the US and Canada (and I would confirm that
            it's virtually NEVER used), and if people involved in the technical
            professions here don't even seem to know it, then it is clearly
            confined to use by a minority of the world's native English speakers.
            "Provincial" was probably the wrong term, but it's clearly local
            usage. I wouldn't bring places like India or Singapore into the
            equation, because in those countries they still use terms like "school
            servant". Besides finding the usage on NO American power company
            sites, I searched the sites of two Australian power companies and
            didn't find the usage there either, but I did find it on the site of a
            South African one.

            You're right that we all like to think of ourselves as the epicenter
            of English, and of course we shouldn't do so. However, there is
            another fallacious belief that is more common, which is that
            unmodified British English is "international English". People who
            hold this belief think that British expressions, no matter how local
            or opaque are suitable for publications aimed at a world audience,
            which is not the case.

            If I run into a British term that I am not familiar with,
            (1) I don't change it if the publication is meant exclusively for the
            UK.
            If the audience is international,
            (2) I usually don't disturb the term if it is also widely known on my
            continent.
            If it isn't widely known on my continent,
            (3) I still don't disturb the term if its meaning is transparent from
            the words it is composed of.
            If the meaning isn't transparent from the words the term is composed of,
            (4) I change to a more transparent term (even if it's one I personally
            wouldn't use).

            (5) Additionally, if I have never run across the term in advanced or
            specialized British ESL books (of which I have used many), it's doomed
            in my translations, but only IF it's otherwise quite opaque.

            "Mains" in its electrical usage fails tests 1 through 3 and 5. Since
            even technical people here, even engineers I consulted who work all
            over the world, didn't know what it meant, I assumed you more or less
            had to have grown up in the UK to know it, so I changed it to
            something that people less familiar with the UK would understand.

            Terms like "mains adaptor" are particularly problematic, because they
            don't indicate what sort of current comes out of the "mains", so that
            would be very specifically local usage. In the States we generally
            call such adapters by the voltage they are meant to convert, or by the
            country whose current they are intended to convert.

            In contrast to this, I don't change the British names of car parts,
            because those are commonly understood even in countries that don't use
            them.

            An analogy would be this: In my state people get their driver's
            licenses and plates from the "secretary of state's office". If you
            use this term, everyone in my state knows you're picking up car
            documents. However, I would be crazy to use the term in a translation
            intended for the entire United States, because people in the rest of
            the country wouldn't know what I was talking about. I have to switch
            to "department of motor vehicles" even when talking on the telephone
            to someone in another state. The term feels "foreign" to me, but if
            I want to be understood by the widest possible audience, I have to use
            it, because the term "secretary of state" would not evoke the image of
            car documents to someone who had never heard it. I am deemed to write
            "standard American English", but I still have to modify my terminology.

            Jamie

            On Jul 12, 2009, at 6:45 PM, Charlie Stanford wrote:

            >
            >
            > Not sure about the "absolutely confined to the UK" Jamie and
            > "provincial usage"!!! We like to think of ourselves as the epicentre
            > of English..... This is all very depressing - has the sun finally
            > set on the BrEng empire? Or are you just taking the mickey/livening
            > things up? The question you originally asked was "How often do the
            > British use the word "mains" in the electrical sense". If the answer
            > is "all the time", then I think you are hard pushed to draw the
            > conclusion that it is "provincial English". Wikipedia warns that
            > "mains electricity" is not often used in the US and Canada - that's
            > as maybe, but I am not sure that relegates the term to "provincial
            > usage´"! I am pretty sure that South Africans, Australians, New
            > Zealanders, Africans of all persuasions, Indians etc. would
            > understand what is meant by "the mains".
            >
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: James Kirchner
            > To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2009 9:34 PM
            > Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Re: "mains"
            >
            > Apparently I'm not so amazing. Over the weekend I've asked several
            > people who should know, including engineers, skilled tradesmen at
            > factories and people who rehab houses, and they have never heard
            > "mains" used in compounds involving electrical wiring. At first they
            > think I mean "main", and when I tell them it's "mains", they are
            > mystified by the expressions.
            >
            > I have also searched the websites of several power companies, and none
            > of them use the word "mains" in reference to the electrical lines, but
            > use it only for pipes transporting water, steam and gas.
            >
            > Clearly these compounds like "mains adaptor", "mains cable", etc., are
            > provincial usage and suitable only for materials that will absolutely
            > be confined to the UK. Anything intended to be in "international
            > English" should use "electrical", "power" or some other less opaque
            > term.
            >
            > Jamie
            >
            > On Jul 9, 2009, at 3:01 AM, Simon Vollam wrote:
            >
            > > > Despite having had to read at technical material from various
            > > > countries for decades, last week was the first time in my entire
            > > life
            > > > that I had ever encountered the word "mains" used that way,
            > >
            > > You amaze me.
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            > --
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            > Až doposud mě ušetřil příjmu 7225 spam-emailů.
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            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Valerie Talacko
            It is used in Australia. However, I agree that if it isn t used in the US and Canada, it shouldn t be used in a translation designed to be used
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 12, 2009
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              It is used in Australia. However, I agree that if it isn't used in the
              US and Canada, it shouldn't be used in a translation designed to be used
              internationally.

              I've never come across the idea that unmodified British English is
              "international English."

              >However, there is
              > another fallacious belief that is more common, which is that
              > unmodified British English is "international English". People who
              > hold this belief think that British expressions, no matter how local
              > or opaque are suitable for publications aimed at a world audience,
              > which is not the case.

              On Sun, 2009-07-12 at 19:53 -0400, James Kirchner wrote:
              >
              >
              > If it's not often used in the US and Canada (and I would confirm that
              > it's virtually NEVER used), and if people involved in the technical
              > professions here don't even seem to know it, then it is clearly
              > confined to use by a minority of the world's native English speakers.
              > "Provincial" was probably the wrong term, but it's clearly local
              > usage. I wouldn't bring places like India or Singapore into the
              > equation, because in those countries they still use terms like
              > "school
              > servant". Besides finding the usage on NO American power company
              > sites, I searched the sites of two Australian power companies and
              > didn't find the usage there either, but I did find it on the site of
              > a
              > South African one.
              >
              > You're right that we all like to think of ourselves as the epicenter
              > of English, and of course we shouldn't do so. However, there is
              > another fallacious belief that is more common, which is that
              > unmodified British English is "international English". People who
              > hold this belief think that British expressions, no matter how local
              > or opaque are suitable for publications aimed at a world audience,
              > which is not the case.
              >
              > If I run into a British term that I am not familiar with,
              > (1) I don't change it if the publication is meant exclusively for the
              > UK.
              > If the audience is international,
              > (2) I usually don't disturb the term if it is also widely known on my
              > continent.
              > If it isn't widely known on my continent,
              > (3) I still don't disturb the term if its meaning is transparent from
              > the words it is composed of.
              > If the meaning isn't transparent from the words the term is composed
              > of,
              > (4) I change to a more transparent term (even if it's one I
              > personally
              > wouldn't use).
              >
              > (5) Additionally, if I have never run across the term in advanced or
              > specialized British ESL books (of which I have used many), it's
              > doomed
              > in my translations, but only IF it's otherwise quite opaque.
              >
              > "Mains" in its electrical usage fails tests 1 through 3 and 5. Since
              > even technical people here, even engineers I consulted who work all
              > over the world, didn't know what it meant, I assumed you more or less
              > had to have grown up in the UK to know it, so I changed it to
              > something that people less familiar with the UK would understand.
              >
              > Terms like "mains adaptor" are particularly problematic, because they
              > don't indicate what sort of current comes out of the "mains", so that
              > would be very specifically local usage. In the States we generally
              > call such adapters by the voltage they are meant to convert, or by
              > the
              > country whose current they are intended to convert.
              >
              > In contrast to this, I don't change the British names of car parts,
              > because those are commonly understood even in countries that don't
              > use
              > them.
              >
              > An analogy would be this: In my state people get their driver's
              > licenses and plates from the "secretary of state's office". If you
              > use this term, everyone in my state knows you're picking up car
              > documents. However, I would be crazy to use the term in a translation
              > intended for the entire United States, because people in the rest of
              > the country wouldn't know what I was talking about. I have to switch
              > to "department of motor vehicles" even when talking on the telephone
              > to someone in another state. The term feels "foreign" to me, but if
              > I want to be understood by the widest possible audience, I have to
              > use
              > it, because the term "secretary of state" would not evoke the image
              > of
              > car documents to someone who had never heard it. I am deemed to write
              > "standard American English", but I still have to modify my
              > terminology.
              >
              > Jamie
              >
              > On Jul 12, 2009, at 6:45 PM, Charlie Stanford wrote:
              >
              > >
              > >
              > > Not sure about the "absolutely confined to the UK" Jamie and
              > > "provincial usage"!!! We like to think of ourselves as the
              > epicentre
              > > of English..... This is all very depressing - has the sun finally
              > > set on the BrEng empire? Or are you just taking the mickey/livening
              > > things up? The question you originally asked was "How often do the
              > > British use the word "mains" in the electrical sense". If the
              > answer
              > > is "all the time", then I think you are hard pushed to draw the
              > > conclusion that it is "provincial English". Wikipedia warns that
              > > "mains electricity" is not often used in the US and Canada - that's
              > > as maybe, but I am not sure that relegates the term to "provincial
              > > usage´"! I am pretty sure that South Africans, Australians, New
              > > Zealanders, Africans of all persuasions, Indians etc. would
              > > understand what is meant by "the mains".
              > >
              > >
              > > ----- Original Message -----
              > > From: James Kirchner
              > > To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
              > > Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2009 9:34 PM
              > > Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Re: "mains"
              > >
              > > Apparently I'm not so amazing. Over the weekend I've asked several
              > > people who should know, including engineers, skilled tradesmen at
              > > factories and people who rehab houses, and they have never heard
              > > "mains" used in compounds involving electrical wiring. At first they
              > > think I mean "main", and when I tell them it's "mains", they are
              > > mystified by the expressions.
              > >
              > > I have also searched the websites of several power companies, and
              > none
              > > of them use the word "mains" in reference to the electrical lines,
              > but
              > > use it only for pipes transporting water, steam and gas.
              > >
              > > Clearly these compounds like "mains adaptor", "mains cable", etc.,
              > are
              > > provincial usage and suitable only for materials that will
              > absolutely
              > > be confined to the UK. Anything intended to be in "international
              > > English" should use "electrical", "power" or some other less opaque
              > > term.
              > >
              > > Jamie
              > >
              > > On Jul 9, 2009, at 3:01 AM, Simon Vollam wrote:
              > >
              > > > > Despite having had to read at technical material from various
              > > > > countries for decades, last week was the first time in my entire
              > > > life
              > > > > that I had ever encountered the word "mains" used that way,
              > > >
              > > > You amaze me.
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > > --
              > > Jsem chráněn bezplatným SPAMfighter pro soukromé uživatele.
              > > Až doposud mě ušetřil příjmu 7225 spam-emailů.
              > > Platící uživatelé tuto zprávu ve svých e-mailech nedostavají.
              > > Stáhněte si zadarmo SPAMfighter zde: www.spamfighter.com/lcs
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Melvyn
              Everything you ever wanted to know about plural noun modifiers (also known as adjectival nouns, noun adjuncts and attributive nouns):
              Message 6 of 17 , Jul 6, 2012
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                Everything you ever wanted to know about plural noun modifiers (also known as adjectival nouns, noun adjuncts and attributive nouns):


                http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mind-your-language/2012/jul/05/mind-your-language-nouns

                BR

                M.



                --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "melvyn.geo" <zehrovak@...> wrote:
                > This issue cropped up a few months back and I seem to recall Jirka B. pointed out that plural noun modifiers are nothing particularly anomalous (words to that effect).
                >
                > I quote from Practical English Usage by Michael Swan (International Student's Edition) p. 532: Singular and plural noun modifiers.
                >
                > Some nouns have the plural -s even when they modify other nouns. These include nouns which have no singular form (like clothes), nouns which are not used in the singular with the same meaning (like customs) and some nouns which are more often used in the plural than in the singular (like savings). In some cases (e.g. sport(s), drug(s)), usage is divided, and both singular and plural forms are found. In general, the use of plural modifiers is becoming more common in British English; American English often has singular forms where British has plurals. Some examples:
                > a clothes shop
                > a savings account
                > a glasses case
                > the accounts department
                > a customs officer
                > the sales department
                > arms control
                > an antique(s) dealer
                > the outpatients department
                > a greetings card (US greeting card)
                > the arrivals hall (US arrival hall)
                > a drinks cabinet (US drink cabinet)
                > a goods train (BrEng)
                > a sports car
                > sport(s) shoes
                >
                > Do any of these forms sound very odd to you?
                >
                > HTH
                >
                > M.
                >
              • James Kirchner
                This is an interesting article, full of insight. The (British) intro linguistics textbook I used to teach from held that forming compounds with the first noun
                Message 7 of 17 , Jul 6, 2012
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                  This is an interesting article, full of insight.

                  The (British) intro linguistics textbook I used to teach from held that forming compounds with the first noun in the plural was generally impossible, although your list proved that theory faulty.

                  I insist that many modern-day constructions of that type are also derived from the genitive. For example, "ladies room" should be "ladies' room", but Americans are increasingly dropping the apostrophe, due to sloppy education. The clear evidence that it's a genitive construction, at least in the US, is that so many places have lavatories and departments marked "ladies" and "mens". Obviously, nobody thinks the plural of "man" is "mens", so it has to be genitive with the apostrophe left out.

                  Some of the American examples the author mentions are odd to me. For example, "sports bra" yes, "sports car" yes, but "sport coat". I don't know why the difference. I guess because a sport coat isn't to be worn when playing sports. But why do we drive a "sports car" but a "sport vehicle"? It's mysterious.

                  In the US, we have a "drug czar" going after "drug dealers". The fact that the British can distinguish between "drugs czar" and "drug czar" indicates to me that they must pronounce "czar" differently than we do.

                  Jamie

                  On Jul 6, 2012, at 4:53 AM, Melvyn wrote:

                  >
                  >
                  > Everything you ever wanted to know about plural noun modifiers (also known as adjectival nouns, noun adjuncts and attributive nouns):
                  >
                  >
                  > http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mind-your-language/2012/jul/05/mind-your-language-nouns
                  >
                  > BR
                  >
                  > M.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "melvyn.geo" <zehrovak@...> wrote:
                  >> This issue cropped up a few months back and I seem to recall Jirka B. pointed out that plural noun modifiers are nothing particularly anomalous (words to that effect).
                  >>
                  >> I quote from Practical English Usage by Michael Swan (International Student's Edition) p. 532: Singular and plural noun modifiers.
                  >>
                  >> Some nouns have the plural -s even when they modify other nouns. These include nouns which have no singular form (like clothes), nouns which are not used in the singular with the same meaning (like customs) and some nouns which are more often used in the plural than in the singular (like savings). In some cases (e.g. sport(s), drug(s)), usage is divided, and both singular and plural forms are found. In general, the use of plural modifiers is becoming more common in British English; American English often has singular forms where British has plurals. Some examples:
                  >> a clothes shop
                  >> a savings account
                  >> a glasses case
                  >> the accounts department
                  >> a customs officer
                  >> the sales department
                  >> arms control
                  >> an antique(s) dealer
                  >> the outpatients department
                  >> a greetings card (US greeting card)
                  >> the arrivals hall (US arrival hall)
                  >> a drinks cabinet (US drink cabinet)
                  >> a goods train (BrEng)
                  >> a sports car
                  >> sport(s) shoes
                  >>
                  >> Do any of these forms sound very odd to you?
                  >>
                  >> HTH
                  >>
                  >> M.
                  >>
                  >
                  > _______________________________________________
                  > Czechlist mailing list
                  > Czechlist@...
                  > http://www.czechlist.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/czechlist


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                  Czechlist mailing list
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                • wustpisk
                  How else can you pronounce czar ? (a bit like the various ways of pronouncing suss , I suppose ;) ) We do tend to spell it differently, though, in order to
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 6, 2012
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                    How else can you pronounce 'czar'? (a bit like the various ways of pronouncing 'suss', I suppose ;) )

                    We do tend to spell it differently, though, in order to reflect the true pronunciation - e.g. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2161894/Drugs-tsar-soft-cannabis-We-criminalise-young-says-professor.html
                    but singular is also used: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/nov/01/david-nutt-gordon-brown-drugs

                    In the spirit of the upcoming Olympics, one that initially sprang to mind was 'drugs cheat' - which seems to occur just as often as 'drug cheat'

                    --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, James Kirchner <czechlist@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > This is an interesting article, full of insight.
                    >
                    > The (British) intro linguistics textbook I used to teach from held that forming compounds with the first noun in the plural was generally impossible, although your list proved that theory faulty.
                    >
                    > I insist that many modern-day constructions of that type are also derived from the genitive. For example, "ladies room" should be "ladies' room", but Americans are increasingly dropping the apostrophe, due to sloppy education. The clear evidence that it's a genitive construction, at least in the US, is that so many places have lavatories and departments marked "ladies" and "mens". Obviously, nobody thinks the plural of "man" is "mens", so it has to be genitive with the apostrophe left out.
                    >
                    > Some of the American examples the author mentions are odd to me. For example, "sports bra" yes, "sports car" yes, but "sport coat". I don't know why the difference. I guess because a sport coat isn't to be worn when playing sports. But why do we drive a "sports car" but a "sport vehicle"? It's mysterious.
                    >
                    > In the US, we have a "drug czar" going after "drug dealers". The fact that the British can distinguish between "drugs czar" and "drug czar" indicates to me that they must pronounce "czar" differently than we do.
                    >
                    > Jamie
                    >
                    > On Jul 6, 2012, at 4:53 AM, Melvyn wrote:
                    >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Everything you ever wanted to know about plural noun modifiers (also known as adjectival nouns, noun adjuncts and attributive nouns):
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mind-your-language/2012/jul/05/mind-your-language-nouns
                    > >
                    > > BR
                    > >
                    > > M.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "melvyn.geo" <zehrovak@> wrote:
                    > >> This issue cropped up a few months back and I seem to recall Jirka B. pointed out that plural noun modifiers are nothing particularly anomalous (words to that effect).
                    > >>
                    > >> I quote from Practical English Usage by Michael Swan (International Student's Edition) p. 532: Singular and plural noun modifiers.
                    > >>
                    > >> Some nouns have the plural -s even when they modify other nouns. These include nouns which have no singular form (like clothes), nouns which are not used in the singular with the same meaning (like customs) and some nouns which are more often used in the plural than in the singular (like savings). In some cases (e.g. sport(s), drug(s)), usage is divided, and both singular and plural forms are found. In general, the use of plural modifiers is becoming more common in British English; American English often has singular forms where British has plurals. Some examples:
                    > >> a clothes shop
                    > >> a savings account
                    > >> a glasses case
                    > >> the accounts department
                    > >> a customs officer
                    > >> the sales department
                    > >> arms control
                    > >> an antique(s) dealer
                    > >> the outpatients department
                    > >> a greetings card (US greeting card)
                    > >> the arrivals hall (US arrival hall)
                    > >> a drinks cabinet (US drink cabinet)
                    > >> a goods train (BrEng)
                    > >> a sports car
                    > >> sport(s) shoes
                    > >>
                    > >> Do any of these forms sound very odd to you?
                    > >>
                    > >> HTH
                    > >>
                    > >> M.
                    > >>
                    > >
                    > > _______________________________________________
                    > > Czechlist mailing list
                    > > Czechlist@...
                    > > http://www.czechlist.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/czechlist
                    >
                    >
                    > _______________________________________________
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                    >
                  • James Kirchner
                    Some people spell and pronounce it tsar . Most people here pronounce it zar . JK ... _______________________________________________ Czechlist mailing list
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 6, 2012
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                      Some people spell and pronounce it "tsar". Most people here pronounce it "zar".

                      JK

                      On Jul 6, 2012, at 9:14 AM, wustpisk wrote:

                      > How else can you pronounce 'czar'? (a bit like the various ways of pronouncing 'suss', I suppose ;) )
                      >
                      > We do tend to spell it differently, though, in order to reflect the true pronunciation - e.g. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2161894/Drugs-tsar-soft-cannabis-We-criminalise-young-says-professor.html
                      > but singular is also used: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/nov/01/david-nutt-gordon-brown-drugs
                      >
                      > In the spirit of the upcoming Olympics, one that initially sprang to mind was 'drugs cheat' - which seems to occur just as often as 'drug cheat'
                      >
                      > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, James Kirchner <czechlist@...> wrote:
                      >>
                      >> This is an interesting article, full of insight.
                      >>
                      >> The (British) intro linguistics textbook I used to teach from held that forming compounds with the first noun in the plural was generally impossible, although your list proved that theory faulty.
                      >>
                      >> I insist that many modern-day constructions of that type are also derived from the genitive. For example, "ladies room" should be "ladies' room", but Americans are increasingly dropping the apostrophe, due to sloppy education. The clear evidence that it's a genitive construction, at least in the US, is that so many places have lavatories and departments marked "ladies" and "mens". Obviously, nobody thinks the plural of "man" is "mens", so it has to be genitive with the apostrophe left out.
                      >>
                      >> Some of the American examples the author mentions are odd to me. For example, "sports bra" yes, "sports car" yes, but "sport coat". I don't know why the difference. I guess because a sport coat isn't to be worn when playing sports. But why do we drive a "sports car" but a "sport vehicle"? It's mysterious.
                      >>
                      >> In the US, we have a "drug czar" going after "drug dealers". The fact that the British can distinguish between "drugs czar" and "drug czar" indicates to me that they must pronounce "czar" differently than we do.
                      >>
                      >> Jamie
                      >>
                      >> On Jul 6, 2012, at 4:53 AM, Melvyn wrote:
                      >>
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>> Everything you ever wanted to know about plural noun modifiers (also known as adjectival nouns, noun adjuncts and attributive nouns):
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>> http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mind-your-language/2012/jul/05/mind-your-language-nouns
                      >>>
                      >>> BR
                      >>>
                      >>> M.
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>> --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "melvyn.geo" <zehrovak@> wrote:
                      >>>> This issue cropped up a few months back and I seem to recall Jirka B. pointed out that plural noun modifiers are nothing particularly anomalous (words to that effect).
                      >>>>
                      >>>> I quote from Practical English Usage by Michael Swan (International Student's Edition) p. 532: Singular and plural noun modifiers.
                      >>>>
                      >>>> Some nouns have the plural -s even when they modify other nouns. These include nouns which have no singular form (like clothes), nouns which are not used in the singular with the same meaning (like customs) and some nouns which are more often used in the plural than in the singular (like savings). In some cases (e.g. sport(s), drug(s)), usage is divided, and both singular and plural forms are found. In general, the use of plural modifiers is becoming more common in British English; American English often has singular forms where British has plurals. Some examples:
                      >>>> a clothes shop
                      >>>> a savings account
                      >>>> a glasses case
                      >>>> the accounts department
                      >>>> a customs officer
                      >>>> the sales department
                      >>>> arms control
                      >>>> an antique(s) dealer
                      >>>> the outpatients department
                      >>>> a greetings card (US greeting card)
                      >>>> the arrivals hall (US arrival hall)
                      >>>> a drinks cabinet (US drink cabinet)
                      >>>> a goods train (BrEng)
                      >>>> a sports car
                      >>>> sport(s) shoes
                      >>>>
                      >>>> Do any of these forms sound very odd to you?
                      >>>>
                      >>>> HTH
                      >>>>
                      >>>> M.
                      >>>>
                      >>>
                      >>> _______________________________________________
                      >>> Czechlist mailing list
                      >>> Czechlist@...
                      >>> http://www.czechlist.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/czechlist
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> _______________________________________________
                      >> Czechlist mailing list
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                      >> http://www.czechlist.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/czechlist
                      >>
                      >
                      > _______________________________________________
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