Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 19:24:59 -0600


Subject: Re: plural ozark

I understand and can accept (theoretically) Don Lance's argument that

"Eventually, the -s in the written form [of the early French explorers] led

to a (re-)morphologizing process that has given us 'The Ozarks.'"

On the other hand, just about every mountain range in the USA that I can

think of takes the singular attributive and the plural nominative: The

Rocky Mountains, the Rockies; the Appalachian Mountains, the Appalachians;

the Adirondack Mountains, the Adirondacks; etc.

Why not the Ozark Mountains, the Ozarks? (I'll admit here that I'd RATHER

believe that we were just adhering to a standard American English pattern

than accept that we were apeing the French.)

You've just described the process I had in mind, but I collapsed a couple

of steps in my description. I wonder if people in the Adirondaks are

displaying similar patterns. The names of older businesses in Springfield

MO use 'Ozark' (Ozark Plumbing), whereas recently-established businesses

seem to prefer the -s form (Ozarks Plumbing). Do we get parallels in

"Adirondak Plumbing" and "Adirondaks Plumbing"? The current residents who

"add" the -s to the attributive form are following English rules, not

French-like rules.