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For the sake of clarity: The correct phrase is not "WMDs."

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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:30 PM
Original message
For the sake of clarity: The correct phrase is not "WMDs."
I've read, and have even heard on television, some people make reference to "WMDs" - the hunt for WMDs, have WMDs been found, et cetera.

WMD means "Weapons of Mass Destruction." It's already plural. Adding an S turns it into "Weapons of Mass Destructions," which makes about as much sense as references to the "HIV virus."

Just felt the need to clear that up. :)
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DenverDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. W'sMD
Is more correct on many different levels.
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DenverDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
17. Meant to imply W's ownership of the lies about WMD.
Not to be grammatically correct.
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. W might also stand for singular "weapon" so...
maybe the proper abbreviation should be WsMD. ;)
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arcane1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
3. I hate that $&@#% rule...
and would never say "W'sMD" for love or money

at work we deal with "Bills of Lading" all the time, abbreviated as "BL's". There is always someone insisting we say "B'sL" instead :crazy:

I know and understand the reasoning behind it, but IMHO an abbreviated phrase should be treated like one word, otherwise what is the point of abbreviation?
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
16. SOB's? Or S'sOB?
Son of a bitch! Son of (a) bitches? Sons of bitches?

It's so confusing.

-- Allen <--- thinks "those BASTARDS" is much easier to use.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. Well, except that
you aren't adding an 's' to "destruction," you are adding it to the acronym, which means you are pluralizing the whole acronym. If you are talking about more than one type of WMD, as we generally are when saying, for instance, that Bush lied about WMDs, then the plural is accurate. Like saying fishes, instead of fish. Both are plural, but mean different things.
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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. I'm still not going to use it.
Why, you ask?

Well, I'll tell you. I think it sounds idiotic. :)
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fryguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
5. trying to edu-macate the public of such grammatical nuances
is tantamount to trying to turn back the tide....but I'm with you on this....
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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. RBIs
should be RsBI

:)
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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. And the USA should be the USsA.
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. Wrong...WMD Stands for Weapon of Mass Destruction.
Not weapons of Mass Destruction.

The plural of WMD is WMDs.

The grammar of the phrase is not applied to abreviations.

A classic example is RBI in baseball. Which stands for Run Batted In.
As an abreviation, it is an entity unto itself, and is pluralized like anything else...One apple two apples, one RBI two RBIs.

This confusion comes from applying the plural to abreviated phrase..
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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I still believe I'm correct.
Edited on Mon May-17-04 01:51 PM by elperromagico
The abbreviation would remain constant, and whether it is in the plural or singular form would be decided by the context of the sentence.

For instance: "A WMD was found in my pants this morning," or "Several WMD were found in my pants this morning." :)

Even if WMD stands for Weapon of Mass Destruction exclusively, the phrase still comes out as Weapon of Mass Destructions, as far as I'm concerned.
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Of course you do, but the W in WMD is not pluralized in the abreviation.
Consult any grammar and usage text.
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elperromagico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I can consult any grammar and usage text I like,
and it will still sound idiotic to me.

Ahh, the wonders of the English language...
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Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
9. So let's sidestep the controversy by...
... coining a new word. "Weamad". Then proper plural is "Weamads" and everybody is happy.
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Leave the side-stepping to the right.
That is their job.

Clarity is important, and this argument has plagued baseball for years.

The problem is rationalizing and trying to apply logic to the correct use of language. Some things are counterintuitive.

What a tangled web we weave.
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Westegg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
15. I DO get your point...but too fine a point on it? :)
...Writing "WMDs" is a common error---incorrect, but one I can live with. But this is an interesting thing about spoken vs. written. When we speak, we might say, "Weapons of mass destruction." Plural. So the mind of the writer, when spelling it out, might feel compelled on a certain level to "pluralize" WMD. Hence, "WMDs." To not do so feels almost awkward, unless one is consistently fastidious about such things---and most folks aren't. The larger goal of the typical person who writes "WMDs" is to convey, unconsciously, the multitude of weapons being discussed. Hence, the plural. This goes for the spoken abbreviation as well.
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candy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
18. Drives you nuts,huh? It's like saying 3:00AM in the morning to me.
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