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  1. #11
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I don't have time to sort the 132,000,000 garment hits, but, yes, the word is common. Not in your context with a mother and her son, but that is not a general rule.
    Of course, no one would expect you to. A brief look at Google suggests that most of those 'garment' examples form compounds, like "garment care" and "garment steamer", "garment sale". I would never claim that singular "garment" was an uncommon word, only that it's not common in general use (as opposed to, say, trade use) when referring to a single item of clothing.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Of course, no one would expect you to. A brief look at Google suggests that most of those 'garment' examples form compounds, like "garment care" and "garment steamer", "garment sale". I would never claim that singular "garment" was an uncommon word, only that it's not common in general use (as opposed to, say, trade use) when referring to a single item of clothing.
    I understand, but the question was not about a particular use. There are many trade uses, but there are also many other uses. When one is looking for a singular word for an unspecified item of clothing, there are few other alternatives.

  3. #13
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    When one is looking for a singular word for an unspecified item of clothing, there are few other alternatives.
    A little English girl found an alternative in a delightful true story which always makes me smile.

    A mum woke her two daughters and told them to put their clothes on and come down to breakfast. A little later the older child came down and said 'I've put all my clothes on, mummy, but Beccy's only put one clo on.'

    ('Clothes' is usually pronounced 'close'.)

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    When one is looking for a singular word for an unspecified item of clothing, there are few other alternatives.
    There are no alternative single singular words that I can think of of, but that does not mean that we commonly use 'garment'. If we have to use a singular expression, we use something such as 'item of clothing.'. As far as I am concerned, the answer to the original question is 'No'. It seems that most native speakers responding agree.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    There are no alternative single singular words that I can think of of, but that does not mean that we commonly use 'garment'. If we have to use a singular expression, we use something such as 'item of clothing.'. As far as I am concerned, the answer to the original question is 'No'. It seems that most native speakers responding agree.
    I appreciate the opinions of the several native speakers who don't feel the word is common. Yet, it is difficult for me to ignore over 100,000,000 Google hits.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I appreciate the opinions of the several native speakers who don't feel the word is common. Yet, it is difficult for me to ignore over 100,000,000 Google hits.
    As a couple of people have pointed out, many of these hits are for such expressions as 'garment factory' and 'garment bag', not 'a garment'. In any case, we cannot rely on Google numbers alone for proof of acceptability, as we frequently warn members..

    I have just had these hits:

    I ain't done it - 65,700,00
    You ain't done it - 1,340,000
    He ain't done it - 13, 600,00
    She ain't done it - 9,610,00

    We ain't done it, 13,700,00
    They ain't done it - 8,240,000

    Despite these apparently impressive figures, these expressions are incorrect in all standard versions of English.

    If you tell me that "Tommy, pick up your garment!" is natural in your idiolect, then I must accept this. It is unnatural in my idiolect and, I am pretty sure, in most varieties of English.

  7. #17
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I appreciate the opinions of the several native speakers who don't feel the word is common. Yet, it is difficult for me to ignore over 100,000,000 Google hits.
    If that's your only argument, I've already pointed out the fallacy by indicating that, from a sample, most of those hits are part of compound nouns and are not the use of 'garment' for a single item of clothing (See post #11). Whether the word 'garment' is common or not is not, and never has been, at issue.
    If you want to start a new thread asking whether 'garment' is a common word in English, I'll agree with you.
    If you want to start a thread asking the difference between i) whether 'garment is a common word, and ii) whether 'garment' is commonly used for a single item of clothing, I can explain that again too.
    If you want to know how X can get 100,000,000 Google hits and yet not be used commonly to mean Y, I can also explain that.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    If that's your only argument, I've already pointed out the fallacy by indicating that, from a sample, most of those hits are part of compound nouns and are not the use of 'garment' for a single item of clothing (See post #11). Whether the word 'garment' is common or not is not, and never has been, at issue.
    If you want to start a new thread asking whether 'garment' is a common word in English, I'll agree with you.
    If you want to start a thread asking the difference between i) whether 'garment is a common word, and ii) whether 'garment' is commonly used for a single item of clothing, I can explain that again too.
    If you want to know how X can get 100,000,000 Google hits and yet not be used commonly to mean Y, I can also explain that.
    I would love to hear that argument.

  9. #19
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I would love to hear that argument.
    Sure, which one? I'd rather let the thread die a natural death.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Is it common to use "a garment"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Sure, which one? I'd rather let the thread die a natural death.
    I agree. This issue is probably not worth all these pixels.

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