singulars and plurals

Price, Carl A price at OCELOT.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Jun 13 09:59:52 EST 1995

Along with Allan Sherman, who sang of his confusion over singulars and plurals
("The plural of 'half' is 'whole'!"), the New York Times was invariably
overwhelmed by "algae." After years of referring to "algae blooms," today's
Science Times section of the NYT has an article on the phylogeny of lichens by
Carol Kaesuk Yoon in which "alga" is used consistently and correctly! 

Several months ago, I overcame my normal lethargy and challenged "Algae
(Gonyaulax polyedra) " in a figure accompanying an article on natural clocks in
the 14Mar95 issue of the NYT by Natalie Angier. You may (or may not) enjoy her
response to my complaint.

--Carl Price

To: price at mbcl.rutgers.edu

dear c.a. price,

thanks for your copyediting of the diagram that accompanies my story.  in my
defense, i don't write the caption material for the grafix and only rarely see
it ahead of time; in this case, i did not.  however, to use the word alga would
undoubtedly confuse readers; and confusion, imho, is a greater crime than a
grammatical misstep.

natalie angier

NATALIEA at delphi.com

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