French expressions in English
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, June 27, 2000, 15:07|
Christophe Grandsire wrote:
> >Both of those I've heard. But interestingly, pluralization of phrases
> >like that tend to be "femme fatales", rather than the French "femmes
> So they see theose phrases as one word only, or they assume that the first
> word is always an adjective?
Neither, necessarily. Both plural and possessive "s" are routinely attached
to the ends of whole noun phrases in English: "the governor of Florida's wife"
= "the wife of the governor of Florida", not "the governor of the wife of Florida".
Similarly, the plural of "son-in-law" is "sons-in-law" only in extremely
pedantic written form: otherwise, it is "son-in-laws". (Possessive "s" is
more flexible than plural "s" in this respect.)
An extreme but not inconceivable example, especially in speech, is
"That umbrella is the young lady I go with's", where the possessor actually
includes a relative clause!
Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@...>
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