1. Iain Wood
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    Iain Wood Member

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    Grammar Court’s martial :

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Iain Wood, Sep 29, 2015.

    Hi everyone...

    Is someone able to confirm the following plural ?

    Singular... Court Martial.
    Plural... Courts Martial.

    I always used to write Court Martials but I’ve been told I was wrong !

    Also..., in the military courts of the early nineteenth century, (Battle of Waterloo) which one would they have used ?

    Thanks in advance..., Iain.

    PS I tried editing the title for a capital M..., too late !
     
  2. Bookster
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    Bookster Banned

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    As far as I know, it's courts martial, and would have been in the past, too.

    Also as far as I know, you can't capitalize every word in a thread title anymore.
     
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  3. Iain Wood
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    Iain Wood Member

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    Thanks Bookster... This is important concerning the book I'm working on as following the Waterloo Battle, (at Hougoumont) the Coldstreamers were let off but my regiment had about eighteen Courts Martial for the same incident. (nothing to do with cherries)
    We'll know why next month but I needed to know the exact grammar for the contents.
    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/hi-everyone.141889/
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Actually the courts-martial is a plural of the noun. It you were to say, "There were several different courts-martial" that would be correct. There were several different court-martial courts.

    However, if court-martial is a verb then the plural is court-martials. You would say, "He's had five different court-martials" if someone of some thing had had several different encounters with the court.
     
  5. wellthatsnice
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    wellthatsnice Active Member

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    Is this happening in the French Army or the British Army? I think only the UK called it court-martial while the French called them Tribunals. May want to just double check the proper phrase.
     
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    1/ No hyphen between the noun (court) and the adjective (martial).
    2/ He (subject pronoun) has had (verb) five courts (object noun) martial (adjective qualifying the object noun).
     
  7. Iain Wood
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    Iain Wood Member

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    Hi everyone and thank you for the corrections.
    It’s now evident that the plural is Courts Martial...

    In order to help research my book, genealogy is an important hobby and I’m a member of RootsChat..., an absolutely remarkable site !
    During some research; http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=712291.0 I was sent a private message with the following remark:

    “Hi Iain, you have raised a very interesting topic.
    You may have noticed I put COURTS MARTIAL, this is the correct term for more than one Court Martial. The Court part is plural not the Martial part which describes what kind of court it was.
    It is a very common error and I used to make it myself until a T.V. programme used the term. (WW1 Courts Martial for those "Shot at dawn")
    I did not want to mention it "publicly" and it does not matter really. I find Court Martials easier to say but if the book you are quoting from has it wrong perhaps other info needs double checking. Kind regards. Viktoria.”


    Note: The reason for the Courts Martial at Waterloo will be published next month in John Franklin’s new book, ‘The Struggle for Hougoumont.’


    Thank you all ! ..., Iain.
     
  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Wow, you managed to be wrong in every dimension. It is hyphenated and it can be used as a verb.
    He (pronoun) was (past of to be) court-martialed (verb).

    Good try though!
     
  9. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    How exactly do you have a verb? Pretty sure you have nouns, not verbs.
     
  10. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    As they say: you will usually find what you look for:

    hyphenated version: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/court-martial
    non-hyphenated version: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/court_martial

    So no, it is not hyphenated, or more correctly, does not have to be hyphenated.

    It can be used as a verb, however the example being responded to:

    is using the word as a noun. So courts martial is correct.

    You too!!
     
  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    But are there multiple courts-martial, or several court-martials of soldiers?
     
  12. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    When you use court martial as a noun, which you did in your example (Try parsing it) there is no hyphen.

    I never said it couldn't be used as a verb, merely that you had failed to do so.
     
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  13. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Wikipedia disagrees with you entirely, and uses the hyphenated version unless using it as a proper noun (in which case it's capitalized). As I didn't use the word when referring to a specific court, we can assume that I meant the regular noun.

    As for the verbing, the court-martials is a present participle. So in that case it's a case of a man currently going through the process of five court-martials. He's being court-martialed multiple times at once. It's not the court, it's the process of being tried, which is the verb form of having the trial.

    I think that's right anyway. According to wikitionary and my college classes, I'm fairly certain.
     
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  14. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Not quite :p

     
  15. Iain Wood
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    Iain Wood Member

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    Amazing..., I now feel slightly less embarrassed in becoming a member in order to have my mother tongue corrected ! Lol !

    Something interesting is your reliance on Wikipedia. Although an excellent research tool, when I use it in relation to my multiple trades and hobbies, (and in particular the Guards Brigade) many items must be taken with a pinch of salt.
    Example:- https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/court_martial where ‘alternative forms’ has it hyphenated; and as a noun, it can be ‘court martials.’
    Then again... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court-martial
    Lol..., back to square one !

    I looked at The National Archives:-
    'Courts martial and desertion in the British Army 17th-20th centuries.'
    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/courts-martial-desertion-british-army-17th-20th-centuries/
    Here, the legal profession clearly adds the ‘s’ to court and does not hyphenate, however, something I find interesting is their non-capital use of the term in a phrase..., something I’ll have to do in the notes section of my book.

    This thread frightens me ! If so much fuss can be made around an official legal term; the day I post a page of my manuscript for advice..., it’ll obviously be torn apart by the seams. Lol...


    Thanks everyone..., Iain.
     
  16. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Nah you'll be right. Once you've done a few critiques you'll see they are mostly constructive :agreed:
     
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  17. Masterspeler
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    Masterspeler Active Member

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    Ok, I feel I have to correct a few things, and confirm others.

    -court-martial is hyphenated.
    -courts-martial is the plural
    -court-martial is not capitalized
    -court-martial is a noun only

    However, in day to day speak, it can be turned into a verb routinely. English can turn anything into a verb. (Im going to pick the most random noun. Trophee- He tropheed up his game. Door - The contractor just doored the house as a final step. Court-martial - I'm gonna court-martial your butt!)

    The following:

    UCMJ (Uniform Code of Milityar Justice) aka 10 U.S. Code Chapter 47
    MCM Edition 2012 (Manual for Courts-martial)
    10 U.S. Code § 816 - Art. 16. Courts-martial
    10 U.S. Code § 818 - Art. 18. Jurisdiction of general courts-martial
    10 U.S. Code § 822 - Art. 22. Who may convene general courts-martial
    AFI 51-202 (Air Force Instruction 51-202, Administration of Military Justice)

    do not contain any form of the verb (court-martialling or martialing, court-martialed, court-martials etc) or of the participle (the airman is court-martialled) at all. Some of those publications are shorter and part of larger documents, but the UCMJ is hundreds of pages long, and the MCM is nearly 900 long. Not a single time mentioned. The word appears strictly in singular and plural noun form.

    There is an exception I found. AFI51-201_AFGM2015-01 which is an Air Force Guidance Memorandum which serves as an urgent change to certain sections and articles within AFI51-201. As with all memoranda it is a temporary document or informative document pointing to the actual regulation, or other publications that serve to draw notice and attention to something. The AFGM2015-01 was released in July so this is recent and does not reflect formal language of the actual AFI. It contains errors and colloquialisms. Even so other than the noun form, only two instanced occur:

    "...members being court-martialed,..." (Pg 23 Para 2.9.6) and "...individuals who were court-martialed" (Pg 252 Para 13.12.3.1)
    The document is 464 pages long, and as with many memoranda is was written with a sense or urgency until the main document it corrects can be re-issued. Of course once that happens there will be another memorandum.

    So the conclusion I draw is that officially the term is stricly a noun, but in day to day speak can be used as a verb or participle. It would explain why it does appear only in a quickly written document. A general may have signed it, but an airman wrote it.

    AB
     
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  18. Iain Wood
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    Iain Wood Member

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    Thanks Masterspeler: Ooops..., nearly put two ‘Ls’ in you name ! Lol !

    I’m confused, nonetheless, you did provide me with an idea and as a result, I consulted the British National Archives. (my book is 100% British) Apparently, it certainly confirms your ‘no capitals’ viewpoint; on the other hand, nowhere is there a hyphen to be seen.
    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/courts-martial-desertion-british-army-17th-20th-centuries/

    As my book is about 18 Scots Guardsmen from my Battalion/Company being lashed and courts martialed following the Battle of Waterloo because they didn’t make it back in time to enter the gates at Hougoumont; and as it’s my intention to use the term as a title in some form or another, it is in my interest not to look foolish ! Or, contradicted and criticized after the publication !

    Is it possible that your USA suggestions differ from Oxford English or British military and legal terminologies ?
     
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  19. Masterspeler
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    Masterspeler Active Member

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    Yes it's quite possible and very probably that the definitions will differ. There are many terms that are different as well, from naval terms to aerospace terms to martial law terms.

    When I was reading this thread I had to look it up, and I served in the military (for many years). So it just goes to show that researching should be done with any starting level of knowledge, and it becomes even more crucial once historic dialects and jargon comes into play. Like the example of "court-martial" being used as a verb incorectly in dialogue when it should be strictly a noun in formal publications.

    I think you have the right starting point for your work, since you shouldnt base legal definitions on a different countries documents, from a different time frame as well.

    I'm trying to think of terms that are night and day or even only come down to different flavor between U.S. and UK but I'm drawing a blank. One thing that I think is the same for both but is wrong in many written works or articles is the ship prefix HMS (her majesty's ship) or USS (United States Ship) neither of which will have periods for abbreviation. (I know the U.S. Navy does not use them, not so sure as for the UK ships)

    This is something that was different throughout history as well. I think 1907 is when the U.S. adopted the USS in it current format, prior using other forms which may have included the period (I would need to research it). So the same could go for the UK (Which makes me wonder, if is UK or U.K.?)

    So my conclusion, is that if in the relevant publications (UK ones) you found the term in only one way and not the other, then I would use it as such. I would look up as much as you can, in the equivalent of the U.S.' library of congress to see the term and its spelling to make sure. But it seems you are on the right track as it is, so I'm glad to have spurred this line of research. Plus, I always love talking about things military, and history, so I'm curious to when you have your book published. I can't wait!

    AB
     
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  20. Iain Wood
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    Very kind of you AB ! I’ve taken note !

    I don’t like grammar but I do like writing ! In the meantime, because I’m sure I am not alone, it may be the reason why Ghost Writers love us to bits ! Lol !

    Thanks everyone. ..., Iain.
     

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