1. SethG

    SethG Member

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    Singular or Plural?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by SethG, Jun 6, 2016.

    Should the words "Aisle," "Exit," "Chapter," and "Section" be plural below? Or are all examples below grammatically correct? Unfortunately I cannot omit the abbreviation "Nos." in these. Thanks for any advice.

    He fell between Aisle Nos. 6 and 7.

    He passed Exit Nos. 5 and 6.

    Please read Chapter Nos. 1 and 2 by tomorrow.

    Refer to Section Nos. 12 and 13.
     
  2. ArQane

    ArQane Member

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    Singular.
     
  3. izzybot

    izzybot Oportet Vivere Contributor

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    Plural. They should read "aisles number six and seven" etc because it's the aisles, not the numbers, that are plural.
     
  4. ArQane

    ArQane Member

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    Careful there, the "Nos." are plural already (for numbers)

    Aisle Numbers...
    Exit Numbers...
    Section Numbers...

    --Edit--
    Let me think this through. I believe it works both ways.
     
  5. SethG

    SethG Member

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    Wow... two different opinions.
     
  6. ArQane

    ArQane Member

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    It depends really.
    "Aisles Number" states that there are multiple aisles.
    "Aisle Numbers" directly references that there are multiple numbers, thus, multiple aisles.

    In any case, both are correct and is author's discrepancy
     
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  7. izzybot

    izzybot Oportet Vivere Contributor

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    Mm. Honestly grammar's not my strong suit, so I can't debate if one's more proper than the other. I'd pluralize, though.
     
  8. ArQane

    ArQane Member

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    We are on the same page on a boat mate.
     
  9. doggiedude

    doggiedude Contributor Contributor

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    I would think:
    He fell between aisle numbers 6 & 7.
    or
    He fell between aisles 5 & 6.
     
  10. SethG

    SethG Member

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    I think the correct choice is to have the noun in the plural and "No." in the singular, e.g., between Aisles No. 6 and 7, Exits No. 5 and 6, etc.

    We do need a plural noun as reference is being made to two aisles / exits / chapters / sections.

    "No." is implied for the second number and can thus remain in the singular.

    I think this is the most logical way to approach this.
     
  11. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    I think the correct choice is to have the noun in the plural and omit the word OR abbreviation number/No.

    So, the garden equipment is in aisle 6, there was a traffic jam between exits 5 and 7, I managed to read chapters 1 to 3 last night, etc.
     
  12. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    I heartily agree...

    except I'd leave out either 'No.' or 'number' because it's not needed.
     
  13. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    Keep it simple, "number" is redundant. A number following an item indicates that it is a sequential numbering of identical items, because it can't be anything else. I can't imagine myself saying using number that way, except maybe singular 'aisle number 4" all by itself. People in a store giving directions to find an item will use that interchangeably in the singular, or they will say "aisle number 6 and aisle number 7." "Aisles 6 and 7" and "exits 5 and 7" are perfectly clear. Since I also do extensive technical writing (up to 250 pgs per doc), I use that convention as well in that 'genre': "transmitters 3 and 4 are connected to antennas 1 and 2." "oscillators 3 and 4 run at 70 MHz", etc. Redundancy is the enemy of clarity!
     
  14. No-Name Slob

    No-Name Slob Member Supporter Contributor

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    You don't need two modifiers, it's redundant. Simply, "exits 6 and 7" is perfectly clear.
     
  15. Samuel Lighton

    Samuel Lighton Senior Member

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    Aisle numbers 6 & 7.
    Aisles numbered 6 & 7.

    To be honest, I don't really see a reason to have 'numbers' in there at all. Either way, the plural works with both cases to me.
     
  16. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Do you mean that "Nos." must appear in these, or that IF you use "numbers", you must express it as "Nos."?

    Because I can't find a way that these don't grate horribly, if the "Nos." is mandatory.
     

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