3
   

Should "most of my hate mail" be "most of my hate mails"?

 
 
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2014 07:19 pm

Context:

Perhaps because I don't live in America, most of my hate mailis not quite in the same league, but nor does it display to
advantage the charity for which the founder of Christianity was
notable. The following, dated May 2005, from a British medical
doctor, while it is certainly hateful, strikes me as more tormented
than nasty, and reveals how the whole issue of morality is a deep
wellspring of hostility towards atheism. After some preliminary
paragraphs excoriating evolution (and sarcastically asking
whether a 'Negro' is 'still in the process of evolving'), insulting
Darwin personally, misquoting Huxley as an anti-evolutionist, and
encouraging me to read a book (I have read it) which argues that
the world is only eight thousand years old (can he really be a
doctor?) he concludes:
 
View best answer, chosen by oristarA
Region Philbis
 
  3  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2014 07:25 pm
@oristarA,

no -- "hate mail" is considered to be plural...
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2014 07:29 pm
@oristarA,
No. It is correct to say "most of my hate mail" because mail is a uncountable noun.

Other examples of uncountable nouns are work, and luggage.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2014 07:31 pm
@Region Philbis,
"Hate mail" is not to be plural. If it were, the sentence would read "most of my hate mail are not in the same league..." (which would be incorrect).
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 09:37 am
@maxdancona,

"most" implies that there is more than one piece of hate mail...
maxdancona
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 12:16 pm
@Region Philbis,
Nope Region. The word 'most' can be used with countable or uncountable nouns. Only the countable ones are used in the plural form.

Consider these examples of uncountable nouns, all use the singular form (i.e. the verb 'is').

Most of my hate mail is not in the same league
Most of my work is boring.
Most love is tragic.
Most of the water on Earth is salty.

Contrast that with these examples of countable nouns which use the plural....

Most pieces of hate mail are not in the same league [ notice the subject noun changed from 'mail' to 'pieces'].
Most of my projects are boring.
Most women are tragic.
Most of the bodies of water on Earth are salty.

oristarA
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2014 07:08 pm
@maxdancona,
Excellent!
Ribbon should be rewarded to this reply.
0 Replies
 
 

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