Just heard a news announcer talk about the Courts-Martial that are starting in Iraq.
I know that that is the plural of "Court Martial" but it sounds wrong. Just like pronouncing "erred" as "urred" sounds wrong or saying "The data are..." also sounds wrong.
There are a few other terms in English that sound better pronounced incorrectly.
People who pronounce these words and phrases correctly or use the correct tense are the same people who wear bowties and are a tad strange IMHO.
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I know that that is the plural of "Court Martial" but it sounds wrong. Just like pronouncing "erred" as "urred" sounds wrong ... words and phrases correctly or usethe correct tense are the same people who wear bowties and are atad strange IMHO.

Don't forget Attorneys General. And... if we had (this is probably US-specific) more than one Surgeon General, would they be Surgeons General? I suppose so.
I think I'll call myself a Technical Writer General (Retired). When I get cloned, I'll be Technical Writers General (Retired). (At double retirement pay?)
By the way, the data is(!) in about bow ties (two words for me): They are not considered strange when worn in a black-tie situation. But with a regular suit, or a shirt and sweater, they do tend to make one look like science teacher. NTTAWWT.

Maria Conlon,
TWG(R)
How about mothers in law?
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It may sound wrong but there is no such word as martials

Frank
Just heard a news announcer talk about the Courts-Martial that arestarting in Iraq. I know that that is the plural ... phrases correctly or use the correct tense are the same people who wear bowties and are a tad strange IMHO.

I don't agree, but I do wonder why the word order
got frozen in that peculiarly antiquated fashion.
Was there a problem with "martial court"? I mean,
we got "martial arts", ain't it? What gives?
Ask Liebs, he probably had something to do with it.
Michael West

Michael West
Don't forget Attorneys General. And... if we had (this is probably US-specific) more than one Surgeon General, would they be ... with a regular suit, or a shirt and sweater, they do tend to make one look like science teacher. NTTAWWT.

Now that I learned how the plural works for these words, I wonder if the genitive follows the same rule:
Court's Martial idea of justice...
Attorney's General residence..
Surgeon's General job description...
My mother's in law birthday...
I hope I'm wrong because to my nonnative ear the above genitives sound even stranger than the plural forms.
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Just heard a news announcer talk about the Courts-Martial that arestarting in Iraq. I know that that is the plural ... and phrases correctly or use thecorrect tense are the same people who wear bowties and are a tad strange IMHO.

I think even the ultra modernists would want to see his name written Tad Strange. I don't think he's too happy about being linked with the bowty brigade. Mind you, his brother Ted has a lot to put up with too.
John Dean
Oxford
Michael West wrote on 13 May 2004:
Just heard a news announcer talk about the Courts-Martial that ... people who wear bowties and are a tad strange IMHO.

Oy! Talk about strangeos calling the rest of us strangeos strange for pronouncing and using words and phrases correctly even! We've got the author of "I did it my way" to blame for this attitude.
I don't agree, but I do wonder why the word order got frozen in that peculiarly antiquated fashion. Was there a problem with "martial court"?

I'd as soon say "military court" as "court martial". "Martial court" just doesn't sound right.
I mean, we got "martial arts", ain't it? What gives? Ask Liebs, he probably had something to do with it.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
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Arcadian Rises wrote on 13 May 2004:
Now that I learned how the plural works for these words, I wonder if the genitive follows the same rule: ... birthday... I hope I'm wrong because to my nonnative ear the above genitives sound even stranger than the plural forms.

You're wrong. You can breathe easy.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
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