I am writing an article for a special events newsletter about preparing food for large numbers of people. I would like to use the title "Feeding the Multitude" or "Feeding the Multitudes."
A Google search turns up both phrases used almost equally, so I am turning to the experts. Which phrase is correct?
Jo
I am writing an article for a special events newsletter about preparingfood for large numbers of people. I would like ... Google search turns up both phrases used almost equally, so I am turning to the experts. Which phrase is correct?

Standards of correctness are derived from
usage. You have demonstrated two forms of
the phrase are equally correct. You must
therefore choose for yourself (and you do
not need to defend your choice in theory:
readers will decide for themselves whether
it suits the text appropriately.)

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
dphillipson(at)trytel.com
I am writing an article for a special events newsletter about preparing food for large numbers of people. I would ... Google search turns up both phrases used almost equally, so I am turning to the experts. Which phrase is correct?

Since "multitude" is just a poncy Latinate word for "crowd" or "whole bunch of folks", there's no reason why you shouldn't use it exactly as you would use "crowd" or "whole bunch of folks".
Since I assume there'll be only one multitude/crowd at each event, whether it should be "multitude" or "multitudes" will depend on whether you want to treat those events one by one or as a series.

So, which would sound best for the article you're writing, "Feeding a Whole Bunch of Folks" or "Feeding Whole Bunches of Folks"? If the former, use "multitude"; if the latter, then "multitudes".

(Could your wariness over "crowd" perhaps stem from a vague recollection of a related word that is indeed syntactically tricky: "myriad"?)
**
Ross Howard
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I checked to see whether one was Biblical. Both are used in the King James vesion; the large crowds that Jesus addresses are called both "the multitude" and "the multitudes." In the story about feeding the crowd with loaves and fishes, which would be an appropriate reference, it uses "multitude."

Best Donna Richoux
food Standards of correctness are derived from usage. You have ... will decide for themselves whether it suits the text appropriately.)

I checked to see whether one was Biblical. Both are used in the King James vesion; the large crowds that ... In the story about feeding the crowd with loaves and fishes, which would be an appropriate reference, it uses "multitude."

Do those uses support the notion that if there
is one multitude here now and another one here
tomorrow, that those are two multitudes? Or is
it the case that once the size of a multitude exceeds a certain threshold, it is no longer a multitude but "multitudes" at the same time and in the same place?
Michael West
Melbourne, Australia
(Expat Yank)
(Could your wariness over "crowd" perhaps stem from a vague recollection of a related word : "myriad"?)

Come on, then, you great tease: astound me. You know you want to.

Mike.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I checked to see whether one was Biblical. Both are ... fishes, which would be an appropriate reference, it uses "multitude."

Do those uses support the notion that if there is one multitude here now and another one here tomorrow, that ... a certain threshold, it is no longer a multitude but "multitudes" at the same time and in the same place?

I think it's, if you have a crowd arriving from the south and a crowd arriving from the north, you have multitudes.

Multitudinously Donna Richoux
food Standards of correctness are derived from usage. You have ... will decide for themselves whether it suits the text appropriately.)

I checked to see whether one was Biblical. Both are used in the King James vesion; the large crowds that ... the crowd with loaves and fishes, which would be an appropriate reference, it uses "multitude." Best Donna Richoux

Joel 4.14 says "Multitudes upon multitudes in the Valley of Decision." These multitudes refer to "all the nations." (Joel 4.2) So I assume that multitudes refers to distinct national armies. If there was just one army, he could have said 'A multitude in the Valley of Decision."