21 July 2011


I have previously mentioned fruits and equipments as examples of nouns which are treated as countable in Brunei and elsewhere, because they refer to objects that are logically countable.

Here is a text message recently sent out by BSM in Brunei, in an attempt to dispel a rumour that there is soon to be a shortage of petrol in Brunei. (My thanks to my UBD colleague, Salbrina Sharbawi, for sending me this.)Note the use of the plural fuels within the body of the message.

What is different about this example is that fuel does not seem to be something that is logically countable. Nevertheless, it illustrates the variable use of count and noncount nouns in New Englishes such as that of Brunei, especially as the singular fuel occurs in the heading but the plural fuels is used in the body of the message.