Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Which pair(s)? Huh?

I'm awful. It's been almost a week. How did this happen? Anyway, I have been hard at work. I've done submissions of two different stories, I have been editing Going It Alone and I've been writing in my new story. Also, I'm almost done with the Golden Notebook.
Other than that I don't have much to say. Although, we did have a question at work that I thought would make a good blog topic. I already messaged Jenni about it but I'll share it here as well.
Is it "2 or more pairs" or "2 or more pair"? We were trying to come up with a sign for work that advertised if you buy 2 or more pair(s) of shoes you double your coupon. My boss, the English major, said I was wrong but then two other employees and a customer said I was right. I'm curious. I should go forth and look it up. I'll post my findings.


Missy said...

I would say pairs, simply because saying 2 and then not a plural sounds odd. Even if the singural is technically correct (which I'm not sure about).

D.B. Echo said...


The American Heritage® Book of English Usage.
A Practical and Authoritative Guide to Contemporary English. 1996.

3. Word Choice: New Uses, Common Confusion, and Constraints

§ 221. pair
The noun pair can be followed by a singular or plural verb. The singular is always used when pair refers to a set considered as a single entity: This pair of shoes is on sale. A plural verb is used when the members are considered as individuals: The pair are working more harmoniously now. After a number other than one, pair itself can be either singular or plural, but the plural is now more common: She bought six pairs (or pair) of stockings. For more on this, see subject and verb agreement under Grammar.