Wednesday, March 4, 2009
This topic came up over a point about the word "shot," as in shotgun shot: What words are the same in both singular and plural forms?
There's actually quite a few; the readiest examples are probably hooved animals:
Some others aren't animals at all:
Wikipedia notes that the term for words without a singular form is "plurale tantum," some examples include:
Another type of irregular plural occurs in the register of the English upper classes in the context of field sports, where the singular form is used in place of the plural, as in "two lion" or "five pheasant". Eric Partridge refers to these as "snob plurals" and conjectures that they may have developed by analogy with the common English irregular plural animal words "deer", "sheep" and "trout".