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  1. #1

    plural

    Please advise:

    1) Is it correct: ... and the Johns Smiths of the world may go to hell for all I care...?

    2) Would you say: ... I met the Misses Trent today while walking my dog... or rather ... the Miss Trents... (for two unmarried sisters sharing the same surname)?

    Ewelina

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    #2

    Re: plural

    Hello Ewelina

    I would say the John Smiths and the Misses Trent.

    Bye,
    MrP

  2. #3

    Re: plural

    Thank you, MrP,

    However, there is a dilemma as to the second sentence.

    I found ...the Miss Dashwoods... in Jane Austen's novel
    but ...the Misses Trent... in some contempory women fiction book.

    It isn't only the question of the phrase being out of fashion as in Jane Austen, right?

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    #4

    Re: plural

    Hello Ewelina

    It's an interesting question. My Oxford dictionary says:

    "The Misses Smith, the Miss Smiths: alternative forms of the plural, of which the former is grammatically the more proper."

    "The Misses X" is the older version; but I notice that in Vol. 1 Chapter IV of "Emma" (Oxford edition), Emma says "I shall always have a great regard for the Miss Martins". Presumably "The Miss Xs" was already fashionable in Austen's day.

    So although I opted for "The Misses Trent", it seems to be the less modern version!

    MrP

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