Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Tuesday Tidbits: PANTS vs. PANT QUANDARY

While researching for whatever book I’m currently working on, I often run across completely unrelated things. Then off I go down that hole because it’s too interesting to pass up. So goes a recent research endeavor.

Have you ever noticed that most all words that are synonyms for pants also end with “s”?
Pedal Pushers
…and the list goes on.

Removing the “s” from any of these sounds odd. I’m wearing short. Huh? Or he has on slack. Eh? But when pants is combined with “suit” there is no “s.” Pantsuit. Hmm. Even though pants is one thing we use the plural verb. The pants are blue. One can’t separate pants into a singular article of clothing like one can with shoes, socks, or gloves. Shoe, sock, and glove.

WASPs in coveralls

The article of clothing that covers the bottom half of the body and covers each leg individually seems to automatically have an “s” on the end. Right?

Apparently not. Or so some try to claim. While researching something completely unrelated, I stumbled upon a tidbit that there are those who refer to pants as pant. Huh? In my mind, pant is a verb and is what a dog does. We even refer to pants in the plural when we use “them.” Which pants do you want to wear? The purples ones. (Note the “s” on ones.)

So when I came across this anomaly of referring to pants as pant, I had to read further to try to understand who does this. In the fashion industry, they apparently prefer to call pants pant. I get it. High fashion people want to change things up these days to appear “fancy” and in the know by using “pant.”

Nope. Apparently, the fashion industry has been using “pant” since the 1890s. Other than a lone sighting in 1832, most examples of the usage of “pant” is from 1893 and on. Why? What possible purpose does it serve? Do they think they are being trendy or something? If I were to read “pant” in a novel instead of pants, I would have to stop, go back, reread, and figure out who or what is breathing heavy. Then when I discover it is an article of clothing that is being referred to, I think it is a typo and reread the sentence with “pants” instead of “pant.”

News is singular yet ends with an “s.” Are we going to start calling it “new”? Have you read the new today? Or drop the “s” at the end of gas. I need to put ga in my car. Or what about oasis — oasi? And what about pajamas? Apparently the fashion industry drops the “s” for this along with all the above mentioned synonyms for pants.

So why does pants feel like a plural when it isn’t really? I don’t know.

But these are the kinds of things that pull me away from my legitimate research. I don’t need these kinds of distraction. But they sure are fun sometimes.

If people want to drop letters from words, how about some of the silent ones like the silent “k”, “g”, “m”, or “p” at the beginning of words?

So do you wear pants or pant?

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Can Nicole learn to be enough of a lady to snag the handsome rancher? Nicole Waterby heads down the mountain to fetch herself a husband, not realizing women don’t wear trousers or carry a gun. She has a lot to learn. 

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Book 4: THE DÉBUTANTE’S SECRET releases August 2021

When a fancy French lady steps off the train and into Deputy Montana’s arms, his simple life might not be enough anymore.

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MARY DAVIS is a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her latest release is THE DAMSEL’S INTENT (The Quilting Circle Book 3). The Quilting Circle Book 4, The Dèbutante's Secret, will release August of 2021. Some of her other recent titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides CollectionCourting Her Amish HeartThe Widow’s PlightCourting Her Secret Heart , “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection , and Courting Her Prodigal Heart . 2019 titles include The Daughter's Predicament and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-six years and one cat. She has three adult children and three incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

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