Jim Yerman

Plurals - Poem by Jim Yerman

I’m glad I grew up speaking English because I think if I had to learn it
I’d have to take my English Rosetta Stone and angrily return it.

Take a simple matter like plurals, in English there’s no defense
Why some times certain rules apply and other times they make no sense.

Take a simple baseball stat...RBI stands for run or runs batted in
And for sports fans this us usually where the problem first begins.

If Tommy batted in 1 or two or 10 runs much to our surprise
We would say he had 1 or 2 or 10 RBI, not the incorrect RBI’s.

And if Tommy ever asks you, you can tell him the reason why...
The plural is in the R at the beginning not in the ending I.

Look at the word hippopotamus, there is no one rule that applies
We can say there are 2 hippopotamuses or use the acceptable hippopotami.

Just when we think we have the rule mastered, it’s octopuses or octopi
We find out the plural of radius can never be radiuses, it’s always radii.

What about the word sheep? The plural is sheep not sheeps,
But the word creep doesn’t follow that rule because the plural of creep is creeps.

And don’t get me started on goggles and pants- aways plural-no reason or rhyme
It’s enough to give me the jitters or heebie-jeebies...also plural all of the time!

The plural of moose is moose but the plural of goose is geese
So why is the plural of mongoose mongooses? Why can’t we call them mongeese?

Everyone knows the plural of mouse is mice and the plural of louse is lice
But why does Deborah have blouses in our closet, shouldn’t we be calling them blice?

I can’t go on, I’m feeling clammy, and if you too feel you’re going to wheeze
Then it appears we all have the same neurosis, is it neuroses or neurosisees?

Whatever, it is it’s plain to see our English is made up of many crazy words
Just ask one goose and his two geese friends, they’ll tell you plurals are for the birds.

Yes, I’m glad I already speak English, if not I might very unmercifully
Take out pair of scissors, (is that two scissors?) , and cut out every plural I see.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Poem Edited: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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