Friday, September 17, 2004

'The s is not a toy'

Damage or damages? Abuse or abuses?

Bill Walsh makes it clear in this entry at Blogslot.
Abuse means abuse. Ten people get abused? It's still just abuse. "Abuses" are instances of people taking improper advantage of a rule or a law or a situation.

Damage means damage. Ten things get damaged? It's still just damage. "Damages" means money sought in a lawsuit.

The s is not a toy.
A friend once remarked that the increasing misuse of "damages" for "damage" was a reflection on just how litigious our society had become.

And be sure to check out the comments at Bill's site, too. There is usually a good conversation going on there. One on this post wonders at what point "money" turns into the pretentious "moneys."

And I've also been wondering why "tensions" rise in a crisis, "services" are held before someone's burial, and companies always report "revenues."


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