back in my day…

Posted on Posted in it's all about the whimsy, journal, language - it's a beautiful thing

During the recent edits on Shadow Bound, I tripped over my outdated grammatical education. Namely: did you all know that the plural of roof is ROOFS?

(North Americans please to be looking away, since you have always known this, because for you this has always been true, and thus my perplexity may in turn perplex you.)

Okay, back to those of us who were taught that the plural is rooves, such as (apparently) Kiwis or Australian children pre-1980's,1 I have one thing to say about this new development: DO NOT WANT.

Australians pluralise elf and hoof to elves and hooves respectively — why have we decided to make roof an exception to this rule? WHY? It's not as if English needs yet another rule that only applies sporadically, is it?2

Sigh. Too bad I wasn't consulted in the vote.

  1. for the record, my grammatical education was decidedly NOT pre-1980's. Which means one of two things: I owe the majority of my grammatical er, excellence, to my mother, or I went to a school that was a little slow on the uptake. []
  2. No, I have nothing of actual merit to say on this issue. What did you expect? I'm a writer. I'm allowed to posture dramatically over grammar, aren't I? []

2 thoughts on “back in my day…

  1. You learnt rooves as well? See, now the world has gone topsy-turvy: I always thought of "roofs" as the American spelling, but that's wrong?

    Either way, now apparently it's the worldwide spelling (except for the Kiwis, who are apparently hanging on to rooves. Good on the Kiwis, I say! Roofs is ridiculously hard to pronounce without it becoming rooves, if you ask my palate.)

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