Recur and Recurring

When something happens once, it occurs.

It doesn’t reoccur. That’s not a word. It recurs.

So we say recur, recurring, and recurrence, but not anything else.

Advertisements

Plurals

This shouldn’t be a chapter at all….

Anyway, here we go.

When we want to make something plural (making it more than one), we add an “s” to the word. The exception in most English words is when the word already ends in -s, -s, -ch, or something similar, and then we add an “es”.

I’m not going to speak of busses, buses, women or children here. That’s too complicated for this blog. I’m stayin’ simple.

Where we are goofing up is in adding an apostrophe. Where the heck did that come from? One tree, two trees. Not two tree’s. Simple.

One house. Three houses. One bird. Two thousand birds. It’s not that hard.

Apostrophes indicate that something belongs to someone. Try not to think about that when making something plural.

Bottom line: For simple plurals, add an “s.” Leave the apostrophes out of it.

Fewer and Less

I’ve nearly given up on this one. But in the spirit of spitting into the wind, here goes:

Both words refer to smaller amounts of something. If you can count the individual things you’re describing, you say “fewer.” If you can’t count the things, you say “less.”

For example, we say, “I put less salt on now” because we aren’t into getting an exact count of salt crystals. We also say “less water” and “less time” and “less pain.”

But if you can count the things you’re talking about, or they each have individual worth even if there are many, we say “fewer”– such as “fewer people” and “fewer houses” or “fewer incidents.”

We can’t accurately say “We have five less cars on the lot” because we hope that we can count those cars. We say “We have five fewer cars on the lot.”

You could accurately say that something costs less money and be right. You could also say that it costs fewer dollars, and that would be correct. But it would be weird.