Wednesday, March 28

a fishy grammar naught?

My youngest and I were reading a Bible storybook last night and she stopped me after I read this sentence:

"There's a boy here who has five loaves and two fishes," replied Andrew, "but they won't go very far in this crowd!"

Notice anything?

She did.  Her immediate statement was - "That's bad grammar!"  The example she used came from a sentence that is used around home after a fishing outing:  

"I caught five FISH today on Banana Creek."  

And she was right.  We never use the word *fishes* as the plural for *fish*.  When we use the plural of the noun *fish*, we say *fish*  We'd only use the word *fishes* as a verb.  

Honestly, I don't know.  Is the word *fish* like the word *deer* or *sheep* when it comes to singular and plural? Or is this a midwestern thing?  Or an odd grammar thing?  

Fish or fishes?  What say ye?

Tammy ~@~


Luke said...

I bumped into this in high school. One of my teachers used "fishes" (plural) in class. I stopped him. He replied, "What you talking about, Bible Boy?"

...turns out that KJV/NKJV has "fishes" and the NIV-ilk uses "fish." Both are technically correct, but I'm much more of a "fish" guy... been reading NIV too long, I guess [smile].

Similarly, you can cut your hair, or have the hairs on your head cut... or you can trim your hairs, or have the hair on your head trimmed...


mom said...

Thanks for stopping by, Luke!

My daughter will be greatly relieved to know she can say FISH and still be correct :-)

Tammy ~@~

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