05 July 2011


I have previously discussed the use plural nouns such as fruits for logically countable things, something that I believe will become part of standard English in the future. Ths is the sign above a shop in Brunei:It is interesting to compare this with the usage in an Inner-Cirle country such as Australia. Here is a selection of signs in Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne:We can see that two out of five of these signs have a plural fruits.

Of course, this is far too small a data sample to draw any firm conclusions. Furthermore, we might guess that Nash and Salih are not native speakers of English (as seems to be true of most of the stallholders in this market in Melbourne), so that is one more factor that influences language use. But we might conclude that plural fruits does sometimes occur in Australia.

It would be interesting to do a wider study of fruit versus fruits in Australia and elsewhere.