Date: Sun, 19 Mar 1995 07:50:57 -0600 From: Salikoko Mufwene Subject: Re: Variable -s on Nouns In message Sat, 18 Mar 1995 19:02:26 EST, Michael Montgomery quotes: > "Gerald Riggs was the last to gain 100 yards on Philadelphia, and no > Cowboys runner had done it since Hershel Walker in 1986." > > "His homerun total was the highest by a Dodgers rookie since Greg > Brock also hit 20 in 1983, . . ." and expresses misgivings about the plural form in "Cowboys" and "Dodgers." Don Lance agrees with him. May I ask whether both of you or anyone else would be happier with "Cowboy runner" and "Dodger rookie." Several years back (1983) I wrote a manuscript about proper names and dealt somewhat with teams' names. Several speakers I interviewed felt uncomfortable with uses such as "MJ is a Bull" (now again!) or "Herschel Walker is a Bulldog" (then). Is the case brought up by Montgomery one of those one may not fully please others one way or another? Is the redundancy in the "Ozarks Mountains" the same phenomenon (though undoubtedly related) as the above? Does the case of "Athletics Director" bear some relation to that of "linguistics professor," or doesn't it? Is the "s" in "Athletics" necessarily treated as a plural? I'll be thinking more about these matters myself, but some feedback from the native speaker crowd won't hurt. Sali, Salikoko S. Mufwene University of Chicago Department of Linguistics 1010 East 59th Street Chicago, IL 60637 312-702-8531; FAX 312-702-9861