Lore or lores?

To: "Hugo Phillipps" <>, "Peter Shute" <>, <>
Subject: Lore or lores?
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 17:32:23 +1100

Whether to use the singular or the plural with regard to parts of a bird is a question which troubles me every time I write a description for dissemination to others. Especially if it's intended for publication. Particularly troublesome is the word 'supercilium'. It is used throughout HANZAB and most text books yet birds have one each side of the head so surely it should be 'supercilia' (see e.g. Australasian Pipit in Vol 7 Part B p. 1359)? But to say the supercilia are white implies to me that there two or more each side of the head! Not very clear so I prefer the 'wrong' HANZAB option. Furthermore, if describing a bird flying past where only one side was seen to be honest I must use 'supercilium' in my description. If I describe the presence of 'supercilia', I am assuming both sides of the bird are similar, usually the case of course, but not always as moult may not progress symmetrically at the same rate. I'm sure I've said this before but it reminds me of the two judges on a train passing a paddock of sheep. The junior judge observes that the sheep are newly shorn. The senior judge adds the rider, 'Well at least on the side facing us'!

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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