Thursday, June 29, 2006

Irregular Nouns

Everybody is familiar with irregular verbs in english -- in fact, if you learn english as a foreign language, probably the first verb you learn is the absurdly irregular To Be, none of whose past or present tense forms remotely resemble the infinitive.

What few people realize is that english also has a lot of irregular nouns. Many things are named differently when they happen to you vs. other people. For example, the noun for surgery varies by person:
- I have a procedure
- You have surgery
- He/she has an operation

Likewise, if you lose your job:
- I was part of a RIF
- You were laid off
- He/she was fired

And when you travel overseas:
- I am a traveler
- You are a visitor
- He/she is a tourist

More later, I think.

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