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Buck's English: Plurals may be simpler than they seem

If a word ends in “-st,” you form the plural the way you would for most other words that don't end with the “s” sound.
BY GENE OWENS Published: May 12, 2012
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“Dermatologist hate her,” read the caption under an Internet photo of a woman with smooth, unwrinkled skin.

At first, Buck thought the ad writer was a foreigner who had not caught onto the art of matching singular subjects with singular verbs.

Then Henry Greenshades, veteran copy editor for the Swayback Daily Kick, set him straight.

“I think the writer graduated from being a country correspondent,” said Henry. “I've edited hundreds of them over the years, and very few of them know how to form the plural of a noun that ends in “-st.”

Country correspondents have plausible excuses: They're the people in small communities who write news of local interest for the local paper and, sometimes, for the big-city newspaper that serves their community. They're good local folks who generally lack special training in the art of writing.

Henry has had to add an “s” to many a story saying “Harvey and Inez Pumpernickle were guest of Wade and Mary Chestnut Jackson during the annual Swayback Rattlesnake Festival.”

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