Friday, August 27, 2010

Hyphens: Beware the Mother of All Plurals



Rasha says:
I am doing research for a school project about family life in Asia, and I came across this headline in The Indian Express:
Mother in laws behind Indian divorces in Malaysia
I know there's a mistake in there somewhere, but I can't put my finger on it.

There are actually two mistakes in that headline: (1) Mother-in-law should always be hyphenated, and (2) the plural is mothers-in-law.

Quick rule:
  • To pluralize hyphenated compound nouns, add 's' or 'es' to the base noun. The playoff game was between the two runners-up. The President met with his chiefs-of-staff. The courthouse was filled with attorneys-at-law. 
  • If there is no base noun, pluralize the last word. The agents acted as go-betweens during the war.

Correction: Mothers-in-law behind Indian divorces in Malaysia

3 comments:

  1. It simply proves that this concept of taking is merely a ritual and doesn't guarantees the success of a marriage. There is no concept of divorce in Hindu or Sikh religions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A great piece of hard work and research. It is something to be proud. I have something for students It is the most reliable and authentic assignment help review platform where students come to share feedback on assignment writing service provider websites.
    assignment paper help

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very Informative Post, would love to read more, keep writing.
    I would like share some links, useful to students

    Best Assignment Help USA

    professional dissertation editors

    english coursework help online

    ReplyDelete