01 April 2017


This is the sign above a shop in Brunei Airport:

For me, 'candy' is a noncount noun. Is it following similar non-count nouns such as 'furnitures', 'equipments' and 'accommodations' in having a plural form in this part of the world?

I just checked the Corpus of Contemporary American English (here), and there are 897 tokens of 'candies' in the 500 million words of the corpus; so I guess it does sometimes occur in American English. On the other hand, 'candy' occurs 10,500 times, so the non-count version of the noun is clearly more common.

Perhaps the distinction between count and non-count nouns is slowly being eroded, led by usage in places such as Brunei and Singapore. Perhaps 'candies' will become the international norm, and so will 'furnitures' and 'equipments'.

One other observation about this shop sign: it reflects the growing Americanisation of Brunei English, as the use of 'candy' (or 'candies') is much more common in America than Britain.