more from Henry Laycock

Single Idea 17695

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

Full Idea

Some words that seem to be semantically non-count can take syntactically plural forms: 'snows', 'sands', 'waters' and the like.

Gist of Idea

Some apparent non-count words can take plural forms, such as 'snows' or 'waters'


Henry Laycock (Words without Objects [2006], Intro 4 n24)

Book Reference

Laycock,Henry: 'Words without Objects' [OUP 2006], p.12

A Reaction

This seems to involve parcels of the stuff. The 'snows of yesteryear' occur at different times. 'Taking the waters' probably involves occasions. The 'Arabian sands' presumably occur in different areas. Semantics won't fix what is countable.

Related Idea

Idea 17694 Some non-count nouns can be used for counting, as in 'several wines' or 'fewer cheeses' [Laycock]