We have a couple Asian-owned produce stores in town. The stores are noteworthy for their cleanliness and their absolutely beautiful and tasty fruits and vegetables. However, I noticed that the owners of the stores make the same kind of mistakes.
The fruits and veggies are displayed, much as one would see them in a supermarket. However, in each grouping of fruits or vegetables is a handwritten sign, which identifies the fruit or vegetable and specifies the price. Here’s the mistake. The signs invariably say:
“apple,” instead of “apples”
“pear,” instead of “pears”
“peach,” instead of “peaches”
“orange,” instead of “oranges”
“carrot,” instead of “carrots”
“pepper,” instead of “peppers”
You get the picture. For the life of me, I could not understand why they don’t use plurals? I thought, “Why don’t they just learn the rule? It’s easy. Hell, maybe I should offer to teach them the rule?”
But then, I got to thinking a little more about it, which caused me to realize that, if I owned a produce store, my signs would say:
“corn,” instead of “corns”
“lettuce,” instead of “lettuces”
“celery,” instead of “celeries”
“kale,” instead of “kales”
“rhubarb,” instead of “rhubarbs”
“cauliflower,” instead of “cauliflowers”
Oy! No wonder they don’t learn the rule. Apparently, there is no rule.
No, wait. Maybe the rule is that fruits are always plural, but vegetables are sometimes singular but sometimes plural. OK, so what is the vegetable rule?
Hair hurting alert!!!!!
English is a bitch. Maybe that’s the rule.