23 words and phrases with odd plural forms

These terms seemingly defy English rules of spelling.

Ragan Insider Content

The rules of English spelling can be baffling.

Writers and editors see it daily. I recently had to check the spelling of “prerogative” because it couldn’t possibly be spelled “prerogative” (it is).

One area of spelling that is particularly challenging: finding correct plural forms. They can trip writers up, because they’re difficult to spell and difficult to pronounce.

Below are 23 tricky plurals:

1. antennae

2. asterisks

3. attorneys general

4. axes (plural of axis)

5. bases (plural of basis)

6. courts-martial

7. culs-de-sac

8. diagnoses

9. dos and don’ts

10. emphases

11. hippopotami

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.