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    #1

    Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool

    Hi,

    what is correct and why?

    a sheep's wool duvet

    or

    a sheep wool duvet

    Thanks very much!

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool

    "A wool duvet" would most likely be my choice.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool

    Quote Originally Posted by Isobela View Post
    Hi,

    what is correct and why?

    a sheep's wool duvet

    or

    a sheep wool duvet

    Thanks very much!
    Sheep wool.
    Cow hide.
    Fish scales.
    Chicken skin
    (The non-possessive will usually be right).

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Sheep wool.
    Cow hide.
    Fish scales.
    Chicken skin
    (The non-possessive will usually be right).
    Although I am aware of the existence of a term like "cotton wool", wouldn't it be redundant to say "sheep wool" in most contexts? I mean, except for the fashion or clothing industry (maybe another context escapes me), wouldn't most people understand that the duvet is/was made from (sheep, not, say, horse) wool?
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Although I am aware of the existence of a term like "cotton wool", wouldn't it be redundant to say "sheep wool" in most contexts? I mean, except for the fashion or clothing industry (maybe another context escapes me), wouldn't most people understand that the duvet is/was made from (sheep, not, say, horse) wool?
    Wool - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In the United States the term wool is usually restricted to describing the fibrous
    protein derived from the specialized skin cells called follicles in sheep, although in the UK it may be used of any long curling fiber such as wood wool, wire wool, etc.[3]



    I agree with you. "Wool" is from sheep unless otherwise specified.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool

    Not to be the gadfly, but I'm sure I've heard 'sheep's wool' hundreds of times, with the genitive as the OP suggests; like houndstooth, isn't it a fixed idiotism of widespread use?

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    #7

    Re: Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Not to be the gadfly, but I'm sure I've heard 'sheep's wool' hundreds of times, with the genitive as the OP suggests; like houndstooth, isn't it a fixed idiotism of widespread use?
    I agree. I would use "sheep's wool" if I had to be more specific.

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    #8

    Re: Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Not to be the gadfly, but I'm sure I've heard 'sheep's wool' hundreds of times, with the genitive as the OP suggests; like houndstooth, isn't it a fixed idiotism of widespread use?
    I'm not saying "sheep's wool" is wrong. I'm suggesting to learners that using the non-possessive will get them by usually.
    Of course, what this applies to could be contentious. I might say "goat milk" but never "cow milk". It's "cow's milk". I don't have a problem with "sheep's wool".
    I think that applying the non-possessive to the skins/hair of animals is probably always right - snake skin, human skin, horse hair, peacock feather, eider down (or eiderdown) - without implying that some possessive usages couldn't be right too.
    Last edited by Raymott; 05-Aug-2013 at 14:58.

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    #9

    Re: Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool


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    #10

    Re: Sheep's wool vs. sheep wool

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'm not saying "sheep's wool" is wrong. I'm suggesting to learners that using the non-possessive will get them by usually.
    Of course, what this applies to could be contentious. I might say "goat milk" but never "cow milk". It's "cow's milk". I don't have a problem with "sheep's wool".
    I think that applying the non-possessive to the skins/hair of animals is probably always right - snake skin, human skin, horse hair, peacock feather, eider down (or eiderdown) - without implying that some possessive usages couldn't be right too.
    You're correct I'm sure, and I don't believe anyone read you as saying they were wrong, but that you were offering one solution among others.

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