more from Henry Laycock

Single Idea 17694

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. Using Numbers / c. Counting procedure]

Full Idea

The very words we class as non-count nouns may themselves be used for counting, of kinds or types, and phrases like 'several wines' are perfectly in order. ...Not only do we have 'less cheese', but we also have the non-generic 'fewer cheeses'.

Gist of Idea

Some non-count nouns can be used for counting, as in 'several wines' or 'fewer cheeses'


Henry Laycock (Words without Objects [2006], Intro 4 n23)

Book Reference

Laycock,Henry: 'Words without Objects' [OUP 2006], p.11

A Reaction

[compressed] Laycock generally endorses the thought that what can be counted is not simply distinguished by a precise class of applied vocabulary. He offers lots of borderline or ambiguous cases in his footnotes.

Related Idea

Idea 17695 Some apparent non-count words can take plural forms, such as 'snows' or 'waters' [Laycock]