I have to use the plural for wharf, and my gut reaction was to use "wharves". Thinking of it, though, I realised that my mind's ear is hearing "wharfs".
Burchfield ( New Fowler's ) and Collins list both forms, with no comment as to acceptability, frequency or pondial preference.

Which would you use? Is either form likely to seem archaic, precious, or illiterate?

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 21 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey to whhvs)
1 2 3 4 5
Harvey Van Sickle (Email Removed) wrote on 06 Jan 2004:
I have to use the plural for wharf, and my gut reaction was to use "wharves". Thinking of it, though, ... to acceptability, frequency or pondial preference. Which would you use? Is either form likely to seem archaic, precious, or illiterate?

AHD4 also lists both forms but prefers "wharves", as you can see from the **3 definition of the transitive verb "to wharf" quoted below. I would probably use "wharfs" because they aren't things that I've read, talked, or thought much about, so "wharves" seems a bit strange and perhaps archaic to me.
The OED2CDv3 shows: "Pl. wharfs, wharves". It seems to prefer "wharfs". Also, it lists this from Antony & Cleopatra : "1606 I Ant. & Cl. ii. ii. 218 From the Barge A strange inuisible perfume, hits the sense Of the adiacent Wharfes."
I wonder what people in the sea-going navy (I was in naval air and never went to sea) or merchant marine, or dockworkers would use.

I wouldn't use "hoofs" or "roofs" or, except as a 3rd-person singular present-tense verb form, "wolfs".
(quote)
wharf (hwôrf, wôrf)
n. pl. wharves (hwôrvz, wôrvz) or wharfs
1. A landing place or pier where ships may tie up and load or unload.
2. Obsolete A shore or riverbank.

v. wharfed, wharf·ing, wharfs
v. tr.

1. To moor (a vessel) at a wharf.
2. To take to or store (cargo) on a wharf.**3. To furnish, equip, or protect with wharves or a wharf.**

v. intr.
To berth at a wharf.
(Middle English, from Old English hwearf.)
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
(/quote)

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
Thus spake Harvey Van Sickle:
I have to use the plural for wharf, and my gut reaction was to use "wharves". Thinking of it, though, ... to acceptability, frequency or pondial preference. Which would you use? Is either form likely to seem archaic, precious, or illiterate?

I would use "dwarfs". I mean "wharfs".
I'm still upset about that dwar-fish sword.

Simon R. Hughes
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I have to use the plural for wharf, and my ... Is either form likely to seem archaic, precious, or illiterate?

AHD4 also lists both forms but prefers "wharves", as you can see from the **3 definition of the transitive verb ... things that I've read, talked, or thought much about, so "wharves" seems a bit strange and perhaps archaic to me.

I'm for "wharves"; and "hooves"; but "roofs".
Mike.
I have to use the plural for wharf, and my gut reaction was to use "wharves". Thinking of it, though, ... ) and Collins list both forms, with no comment as to acceptability, frequency or pondial preference. Which would you use?

wharves
Is either form likely to seem archaic, precious, or illiterate?

"Wharfs" seems a little odd to me, but apparently it's okay.

Adrian
I have to use the plural for wharf, and my gut reaction was to use "wharves". Thinking of it, though, ... to acceptability, frequency or pondial preference. Which would you use? Is either form likely to seem archaic, precious, or illiterate?

Wharfs.
*

English is Munglish

*
Jai Maharaj
http://www.mantra.com/jai
Om Shanti
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Which would you use?

'Wharves'.
Is either form likely to seem archaic, precious, or illiterate?

No.
I was born in 1978 and have lived stateside all my life.

Michael Hamm Since mid-September of 2003, AM, Math, Wash. U. St. Louis I've been erasing too much UBE. (Email Removed) Of a reply, then, if you have been cheated, http://math.wustl.edu/~msh210/ Likely your mail's by mistake been deleted.
I have to use the plural for wharf, and my ... Is either form likely to seem archaic, precious, or illiterate?

Wharfs. *

English is Munglish

*

If you'd prefer to take your advice from a bunch of lexicographers rather than someone who thinks English has no rules, run "wharves" through onelook.com and check the results. I think you'll find that "wharves" is the preferable form.
"Dr. Maharaj" has many opinions concerning the English language. Occasionally he's right.

Bob Lieblich
Who's giving "Herr ***" a rest pending new provocation
"Wharfs" sounds good. Eng . . . er . . . Munglish is about usage, not some Net nazi's rules.
Jai Maharaj
http://www.mantra.com/jai
Om Shanti
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Show more