Saturday, May 17, 2014
Two of them
We were playing in the sandpit. Granddaughter got really quite sandy.
Grandson looked to the side. "There's a woodmouse," he said.
I was surprised but impressed at his detailed knowledge of species of mouse. I looked but could see no mouse.
"Where?" I asked.
He pointed. To a woodlouse.
That got me thinking about plurals. I suppose the plural of woodlouse is woodlice. Certainly the plural of headlouse is headlice. But how about the sort of story in which a woman says, "He's a louse. But in my opinion, all men are...". Surely not "... lice"? Might it be "... all men are louses"? I don't read that sort of story enough to be sure.
(Note that this is a fictional piece of fiction. I don't myself hold this view of men. And in Scotland we usually call woodlice slaters, thus avoiding the plural problem. I believe that they are pillbugs in America.)