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  1. #1

    the latter / the latters

    Hello,

    When referring to a group of people that have just been mentioned in a text, would you refer to them as the latters (with a final "s" as in "the others") or the latter (invariable, as generic adjectives used as nouns like "the rich", "the poor", "the lame" etc.)

    (I would like to check this because I found a significant number of instances of "the formers / the latters" on .uk sites on Google (not all of which are the misspelt equivalents of "the former's / the latter's") :

    cf. Google

    (on a university site, for instance, I found the following occurrence :

    "reminiscence and life review activity sessions followed a standard format adapted from Bornat (1994) and Haight (1992) respectively, while the disclosure activity sessions were developed within Pennebaker's (Traue and Pennebaker, 1993) theoretical framework through a period of pilot work. The disclosure sessions were differentiated most clearly from the reminiscence and life review sessions by the formers' focus on the present and future.")

    Thank you very much in advance.

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    #2

    Re: the latter / the latters

    I'm not sure about your quote, but English adjectives do not change in the plural (your example, others, is a plural pronoun). You are exactly right, it is like "the rich."


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #3

    Re: the latter / the latters

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephan Wilhelm View Post
    Hello,

    When referring to a group of people that have just been mentioned in a text, would you refer to them as the latters (with a final "s" as in "the others") or the latter (invariable, as generic adjectives used as nouns like "the rich", "the poor", "the lame" etc.)

    (I would like to check this because I found a significant number of instances of "the formers / the latters" on .uk sites on Google (not all of which are the misspelt equivalents of "the former's / the latter's") :

    cf. Google

    (on a university site, for instance, I found the following occurrence :

    "reminiscence and life review activity sessions followed a standard format adapted from Bornat (1994) and Haight (1992) respectively, while the disclosure activity sessions were developed within Pennebaker's (Traue and Pennebaker, 1993) theoretical framework through a period of pilot work. The disclosure sessions were differentiated most clearly from the reminiscence and life review sessions by the formers' focus on the present and future.")

    Thank you very much in advance.
    This ought to read "the former's" . Latter and Former have no plural forms. I would reckon that what you have found are either typos or incorrect usage.

  2. #4

    Re: the latter / the latters

    Thanks a lot, mykwyner and anglika.

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