Thursday, October 21, 2010

A simple question

So what is the plural of haiku?  "I wrote a haiku.  I wrote many ..." what?

Haiku?  Maybe it's like giraffe or wildebeest to hunters.  "I shot a brace of giraffe today."
Haikus?  Perhaps, but it's not an English word, so do you still pluralize it like an English word?
Haiku's?  That doesn't seem right.  As far as I know the only place that apostrophes are correct for pluralization is for things like the 60's and 70's.

Perhaps someone could google it for me. I'm a busy man.  I have bridges to burn.


Pink Stethoscopes said...

I think the plural of haiku is “poems in haiku form”. “I wrote a haiku. Then I got carried away and wrote several thousand poems in haiku form”.

As an aside, I don’t think it’s appropriate to use apostrophes to pluralise numbers or decades, such as "60s and 70s" or "100s and 1,000s". Either that or Professional English for Medical Scientists has led me waaaay down the wrong path. Wait, is that how you spell ‘waaaay’?

Anonymous said...

its Haiki
one haiku, many haiki
thank me later

PTR said...

Steth - I like the way you think. Except when you think different to me. So yeah, I'm going to go with "poems in haiku form" over "haiki".

I'm not convinced about the 60's and 70's though. Your claim to have completed Professional English for Medical Scientists reminds me of the subject Quantum Mechanics for Antelopes.

And though I don't like to be picky, I object when people write "100s and 1000s" for "hundreds and thousand" when it actually says "one hundreds and one thousands". I think if you want to say "hundreds and thousands" using numerals you should say "1100N where N is a positive integer".

Mind you, that does get a bit cumbersome if you're trying to tell someone how to make fairy bread.

I think you spelled "waaaay" right though.

PTR said...

Oh, and:

It's informative.

Anonymous said...

Pink Stethoscopes said...

I always place exactly 1100 sprinkles on my bread so I don't have to think about the "hundreds and thousands" issue, it saves me a lot of grammatical angst. You would have learnt that handy tip if you'd actually attended Quantum Mechanics for Antelopes.

PTR said...

Anonymous - I am unable to distinguish the truth from lies any more! If that's a hoax, I like it.

Steth - an eminently practical solution. You should send it to the Reader's Digest and they'll pay you five bucks.