Friday fun: funny plural words

Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day is a profitable email I receive each day, based on the reference work by Bryan A Garner. Today’s “Tip of the Day” was about the plural form of certain nouns (stay with me, here; fun just ahead).

Garner writes: Some words change in the plural from a final “-f” to “-ves,” but others simply become “-fs.” He then lists a few of the common ones —

“calf/calves,” “elf/elves,” “half/halves,”
“hoof/hooves,” “knife/knives,”
“leaf/leaves,” “life/lives,” “loaf/loaves,”
“scarf/scarves,” “self/selves,”
“thief/thieves,” “wharf/wharves,”
“wife/wives,” and “wolf/wolves.”

BUT ONE I’D NEVER HEARD OF IS WORTH A SMILE:

“Beef/beeves” (fattened cattle)

But do note, that there are some which don’t change:

“Beef/beefs” (types of meat or complaints),
“dwarf/dwarfs,” “handkerchief/handkerchiefs,”
“oaf/oafs,” “proof/proofs,” “roof/roofs,”
and “staff/staffs” (except in music).

And, the plural of “still life” is “still lifes.”

:) pdb