Grammatical Conundrums

Tailor's Goose

Tailor's Goose

A Rich Grammatical Decision

The New York Tribune decides that the plural of “titmouse” is “titmouses,” not “titmice.” “On the same principle,” says another paper, “plural of a tailor’s ‘goose’ is ‘gooses,'” as indeed we hold that it is.

This reminds us of another anecdote in regard to a country merchant who wanted two of these tailor’s irons several years ago, and ordered them from Messrs Dunn & Spencer, hardware merchants then doing business in this city. He first wrote this order “Please send me two tailor’s gooses.” Thinking that this was bad grammar, he destroyed it and wrote this one “Please send me two tailor’s geese.”

Upon reflection he destroyed this one also for fear he “would receive live” geese. He thought over the matter until, he was very much worried and at last, in a moment of desperation, he seized his pen and wrote the following which was duly mailed “Messrs. Dunn & Spencer Please send me one tailor’s goose and d_ _n it, send me another.” This was the only way he knew of to order two of them, but of course he had not read the above wise decision then —Petersburg Courier

We once knew a merchant who wanted a dozen of the same article and got over the difficulty by ordering “one tailor’s goose,” and immediately under it, “eleven ditto.”

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Feb 12, 1871

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