A fun story about “woman” vs. “women”

Happy New Year, everyone!

My granddaughter shared a funny story with me. She works in a middle school and was helping a student revise his work. The assignment was to make a comic strip about a scene in the book Jennifer Murdley’s Toad, and this particular student chose the scene where the young woman protagonist is humiliated because she has to wear her brother’s underpants and everyone at school finds out. (It is a very amusing book, to say the least!)

The student had written, “Look! It’s underwear women [sic]!” on his comic, and the teacher asked the student, “How many underwear women were there?”

The student replied, “Just one.”

The teacher asked, “How do you spell it when there is just one woman?”

The student paused for a few moments before he replied, “Maybe I’ll just write ‘underwear girl’ instead.”

This is a great technique for any writing in life—sometimes, you might forget a grammar rule, or spelling. It won’t always be practical to try and find the exact rule you’re looking for, but a good strategy is to find another way to word the sentence!

Gail Tycer is a strategic business communication authority: professional speaker; writer, author, editor; coach, consultant, facilitator, and strategist. More free business writing tips from Gail Tycer are available here, and information about Gail’s Business Writing workshops is available here.

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© 2013 Gail Tycer • www.GailTycer.com


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