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Galosh
Posted: 07 April 2014 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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"I found an overshoe in the road today.”

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Posted: 07 April 2014 08:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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OP Tipping - 07 April 2014 08:21 AM

Interesting. I am struggling to think of another example of an item that can clearly exist as a single object but would only be spoken of as part of a set expressed in plural.

Trousers, scissors…

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Posted: 08 April 2014 03:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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But trousers and scissors are single units, not a pair of single units. (Yes, many pairs of scissors are designed to come apart for cleaning, but they function as a single unit.) With shoes or boots, it’s idiomatic to use the singular shoe or boot, not so with galosh.

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Posted: 08 April 2014 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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In the 1960s our household regularly took for me and my brothers The Beano comic, one of whose regular characters was Dennis the Menace (a very different character form the US Dennis the Menace). As often as not the weekly Dennis strip ended with Dennis being deservedly thrashed for his misdeeds, and I distinctly remember one which ended with Dennis’s Dad brandishing an item of rubber footwear, and Dennis saying ‘Gosh! A galosh! I think I know what’s going to happen now, readers!’

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Posted: 08 April 2014 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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As Dave says, scissors and trousers aren’t examples.

“I found an overshoe in the road today.”

I’m defeated.

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Posted: 08 April 2014 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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OP Tipping - 08 April 2014 04:58 AM

As Dave says, scissors and trousers aren’t examples.

“I found an overshoe in the road today.”

I’m defeated.

What about ”I found a single galosh in the road today” ?

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Posted: 08 April 2014 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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BlackGrey - 08 April 2014 05:28 AM

OP Tipping - 08 April 2014 04:58 AM
As Dave says, scissors and trousers aren’t examples.

“I found an overshoe in the road today.”

I’m defeated.

What about ”I found a single galosh in the road today” ?

Well that’s what I’m getting at…

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Posted: 08 April 2014 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I realize that’s what you’re getting at; my point is that, in my experience, a typical American would be unlikely to say that.

“Somebody lost one of their galoshes in the road, and I found it today.”

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Posted: 08 April 2014 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Not sure where all this is going, but “trouser” is used, e.g.: “I had an oil stain on my left trouser leg”.
And equally “the picture had several scissor cuts”. I guess the adjectival use changes the rules, but I have heard “trouser” used singly, so in the first example you could drop the “leg”.

As to “gumboots”, I would use “wellington” or “wellies”, but years ago when I liven in NW England some visiting Tanzanian artists gave us a performance of their “gumboot dance”!

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Posted: 08 April 2014 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Plurals which completely subsume the singular are interesting. One example is truce, once the plural of trewe or true (truth or fidelity to a promise), which even in Old English was being used as a singular. Eventually a new plural, truces, was formed. I guess die, dice and we might even see dices eventually. God save the mark, it’s probably out there even now. I hesitate to check!

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Posted: 08 April 2014 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Not sure where all this is going, but “trouser” is used, e.g.: “I had an oil stain on my left trouser leg”.
And equally “the picture had several scissor cuts”. I guess the adjectival use changes the rules, but I have heard “trouser” used singly, so in the first example you could drop the “leg”.

Long John Silver sat down on the dead man’s chest, and carefully drew on his shoregoing trouser....

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Posted: 08 April 2014 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Long John Silver sat down on the dead man’s chest, and carefully drew on his shoregoing trouser....

BUMP

that was the leg dropping in this example…

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Posted: 08 April 2014 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I agree with Dr. T - the word “galosh” by itself might be perfectly fine, logically, but it sounds so weird to American ears that we would find a way to avoid it. Nothing wrong with it; we just don’t like it.

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