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The evidences of this decline include not only results on a variety of objective tests, but also first-hand observations by teachers and professors, and dismaying experiences by employers who have found the end-product seriously lacking.

Can the word 'evidence' be used as a countable noun?
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Comments  
Yes, but it's rare.

At the New York Times you find several:
"these evidences":
http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?query=%22these+evidences%22&srchst=nyt
but none are shown at the BBC.

This is from an AmE dictionary:
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ev·i·dence

Function: noun

Inflected Form(s): -s


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Cambridge shows it as U(Uncountable) though:
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=26647&dict=CALD

I'd be very reserved in using it in the plural.
Not in American English. I can't say for other forms.
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The following point to the fact that the plural of 'evidence' is 'evidences'. The Collins Cobuild Dictionary for Advanced Learners also states that 'evidences' is the plural noun. I think it is a British English usage.

1. Includes (fols. 1-2) a draft of his preface to A defence of the Christian revelation on two... points... contained in... Observations on the history and evidences of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, by G. West; and... Observations on the conversion of St. Paul, by G. Lyttleton (London, 1748), with miscellaneous papers and transcripts (c.1700?) of material of antiquarian interest, c.1620-1658, n.d., guarded onto the stubs of the pages of A Sermon [on Psalm cxliv] preached before the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts... on February 24, 1758; by James [Johnson] Lord Bishop of Gloucester (London, 1758).

2. For just as the archæologist, when he excavates the site of some ancient city, finds the various forms of its civilization arranged in chronological strata, so we find evidences of each past generation and its activities in the superimposed strata of our vocabulary.[1]
TeoThe evidences of this decline include not only results on a variety of objective tests, but also first-hand observations by teachers and professors, and dismaying experiences by employers who have found the end-product seriously lacking.
The above passage is quoted from a book written by Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is an American.
My conclusion is it is used both by in American and British English. I don't think Thomas Sowell has used the word wrongly.
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Teo wrote: 'The above passage is quoted from a book written by Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.'

The above passage is quoted from a book by Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

I would like to confirm whether 'written' is necessary. Are both sentences correct?
Yes, both are fine; you might want to make it absolutely clear that a person had not simply edited a book, for instance.

To return to the earlier question, "evidences" might be used where you wanted to refer to individual items of evidence. Many seemingly non-countable abstract nouns can be used in this way; thus "felicity" is the state of happiness, but "felicities" might be individual instances of happiness. However, it might appear mannered.

MrP
Yoong LiatMy conclusion is it is used both by in American and British English. I don't think Thomas Sowell has used the word wrongly.

A typo.
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