Retired English Teacher
I just came across a sentence: "There was an amused twinkle in Santa's eyes."
Is this idiomatic? I guess it should be 'eye', not 'eyes'.
Thanks in advance.
In BrE, I generally hear eye, but the plural sounds OK too.
I have to say the the whole twinkle in his eye makes me a bit dubious about trusting this Santa with my kids.
PS Explanation: there is an idiom meaning 'before you were born': '..when you were no more than a twinkle in your father's eye'.
I would say:
- There's a twinkle in his eye!
- He has twinkly eyes.
- He's a twinkly-eyed young man.
I feel a difference depending on whether we use the singular or the plural. Using the plural literally describes the appearance of the eyes. "To have a twinkle in your eye" usually suggests that you're looking a bit cheeky, like you might have some naughtiness in mind.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.