Submitted by pbutler  •  November 17, 2004

Plural of word “rum”

Is the word “rum” like the word “Deer”? You never say “deers” for the plural--what about rum. Is it both singular and plural in that form? You can never say “rums” can you?

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"can i get two rums please?"

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I'll say deers, fisheses, womens and anything else I want if I been done had enough of those rums.

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My experience with the M-W is that they tend to try to describe the way the language is spoken, rather than to try to prescribe how the language should be spoken. So they straightforwardly accept a lot of things that other dictionaries, as well as many careful speakers, would consider substandard.

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Shame on MW. I'd slap you if I heard that. :p

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http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dict...

Actually, as a matter of fact, deers is an acceptable plural.

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You use "hairs" in sentences like, "The fairy godmother told Prince Florimel he must get three hairs from the tail of the unicorn."

You're absolutely right about "rums." A representative example might be, "I just stocked my liquor cabinet with two vodkas (Stolichnaya and Absolut), two mixers (Bloody Mary and Margarita), two tequilas (one with the worm and one without), and two rums (one white plain and one dark spiced).

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You would say "rums" if you're truly using the plural. But that wouldn't happen that often -- "rum" being a mass noun, like "hair" -- "hair" does have the plural "hairs," but how often is it used? I'm drinking some rum, I'll have more rum, come and have some rum with me, we'll drink a lot of rum?

I suppose the time to use "rums" would be if you were referring collectively to more than one kind of rum at once -- like "wines" for referring to more than one kind of wine.

But "deer" is completely different. It's just a noun whose plural form is the same as its singular.

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