clunky: slang for 'awkward'
Our disappointed grammar-buff is right: a lot of grammar is not derived from logical principles. All languages face the problem of characterizing masses and groups of undistinguished small objects as singular or plural. This dilemma seems to reach its peak with items that are the basis of cooking. Despite an attempt to find rules, there is no dependency on particle size.
Nouns used only, or principally in the plural form are known as pluralia tantum; those used excusively in the singular form are known as singularia tantum. This usage varies from one language to another. We find some foreign uses 'incomprehensible', as in the general Hebrew plural form mayim for 'water', despite the fact that, on occasion, "Still waters run deep."
We have discussed in other verses here the relationship of pluralia tantum to life-cycle celebrations, and to medical nomenclature.
Grandpa Greg asked us to pass on this message: "You can view the entire collection of verses about 'pluralia tantum' by clicking HERE."
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