I have a little question...
Is it correct (linguistically, of course) to call a couple who has just gotten married "The newly wed" instead of "The newly weds" ??
Just be aware that "the newly weds" is incorrect. This is a noun and should be written as a single word or as a hyphenated form: newlyweds or newly-weds.Is it correct (linguistically, of course) to call a couple who has just gotten married "The newly wed" instead of "The newly weds" ??
"to call a couple who has just gotten married"
Linguistically, although 'couple' is singular you are talking about two people and this sounds awkward. Listeners know that you are referring to two people. Therefore, the couple, who are newly-weds (newly-wed refers to one person) have just got married.
It would be right to refer to the newly-wed couple.
is it really incorrect to treat a couple as one single unit?? What about Americans? don't they tend to "singularize" (couldn't come up with any better word here) collective nouns? According to CALD it is possible to say "An elderly couple UK live/US lives next door". Just take a look: Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
And finally :D ... When I'm referring to a couple who have just got/has just gotten married, can't I just call them "the newly-wed" and do I have to add the word "couple" here?? Or should I only use "the newly-weds" instead?
hope you can follow my train of thought...
Strictly, one should not confuse singular and plural. But when considering general usage among the public then some latitude can be adopted. Naturally, there are many differences between US and UK usage.
An elderly couple is correct; and we use live or lives!
You can call them the newly-weds (again because we understand that this refers to two people), or
The newly-wed couple.
The latter is singular and the former is plural.
Of course it is confusing; but that is also a delight of the language. It allows for such differentiation.