Every week I demonstrate an example of poor English where a different word is used from the word intended. Usually, this creates a grammatically incorrect sentence and sometimes it sounds amusing, other times it sounds embarrassing. Unfortunately, the mistake is so pervasive that we all do it and such errors are usually made by those who should know better – journalists working for national or global media outlets such as newspapers and television.
Man-Men / Woman-Women
I am embarrassed that I have to do this at all. Really, I thought people learnt the difference between singular and plural gender nouns at a very early age – though in the case of The Guardian above, clearly not. In the last few weeks I have seen blog posts, web pages and Facebook memes that say “A women”, “This men” etc. Everyone should know that MAN and WOMAN are singular and MEN and WOMEN are plural.
Easy way to know the difference? A bit like E for Envelope in the difference between stationary and stationery…
A mAn, A womAn, Extra mEn, Extra womEn
Pffft! If you don’t know the difference then just go and buy yourself a dictionaries 😛