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”?
…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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