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More than one domino...
September 8, 2009 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Spelling filter: Which is correct? "Dominoes" or "dominos"? Or is this one of those words that can be spelt either way? Is one correct, and the other just a result of a mispelt brand of pizza delivery? (or is that mispelled...now I'm second guessing everything!!!)

Yes, I know it's trivial to use metafilter as a means of checking spelling, but wikipedia was not very useful.
posted by robotot to Writing & Language (16 answers total)
 
Answer.
posted by dfriedman at 8:07 PM on September 8, 2009


Dfriedman's link indicates that either is correct, but I'd suspect the -es form to be more common/accepted. Searching for "dominoes newspaper" turns up roughly 5x as many hits on Google as "dominos newspaper," although I suspect there's some pizza-related garbage in those hit counts.

And technically, the pizza brand is Domino's. With an apostrophe.
posted by axiom at 8:10 PM on September 8, 2009


Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; you want a dictionary. Both are acceptable, but "dominoes" is listed first.
posted by grouse at 8:14 PM on September 8, 2009


Either is fine.

-oes is a bit more proper, and I second the theory that we can blame cheap pizza for the spread of the shorter version.
posted by rokusan at 8:18 PM on September 8, 2009


I second the theory that we can blame cheap pizza for the spread of the shorter version.

This is silly—the OED has multiple quotations with "dominos" dating back to 1828. Although it has only "dominoes" listed at the top for contemporary usage.
posted by grouse at 8:23 PM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


The OP's profile indicates that he is Australian, but I imagine American English and Australian English have the same spelling for this word.
posted by dfriedman at 8:25 PM on September 8, 2009


Is one correct, and the other just a result of a mispelt brand of pizza delivery? (or is that mispelled...now I'm second guessing everything!!!)


Misspelt and misspelled are misspelt in the question.
posted by dfriedman at 8:31 PM on September 8, 2009


My Macquarie Dictionary of Australian English (3rd ed.) has -oes as the plural form; no mention of -os.
posted by Pinback at 8:35 PM on September 8, 2009


Dominoes is generally preferred.
posted by box at 8:36 PM on September 8, 2009


Interesting.

So this American wonders: is the British English OED or the Australian English dictionary the authority in all things domino?
posted by dfriedman at 8:38 PM on September 8, 2009


dfriedman, they both have the same answer; so far, we have seen only American dictionaries that list "dominos."
posted by grouse at 8:54 PM on September 8, 2009


I'm volunteering as an adult literacy tutor with the LA Public Library, and the rule we teach our students is if the word ends in an O, you add -es to make it plural. UNLESS it's a music related word (piano, alto) in which case you just add -s. I assume those words are treated differently because they tend to be loan words.
posted by ValkoSipuliSuola at 9:24 PM on September 8, 2009


I second the theory that we can blame cheap pizza for the spread of the shorter version.
This is silly—the OED has multiple quotations with "dominos" dating back to 1828.


I didn't say it was invented by cheap pizza sellers, just that that's a good theory on why the e-less version is spreading and becoming more common, at least in some parts of the world.

I mean, ask your average American to spell that word, and they probably think you're talking about pizza, anyway. It's probably used that way more often in the USA.

(I know, it's not possessive. But they won't care.)
posted by rokusan at 9:54 PM on September 8, 2009


To me, a good theory is one backed by evidence rather than supposition.
posted by grouse at 9:56 PM on September 8, 2009


I assume those words are treated differently because they tend to be loan words.

Which is nuts, because in their original form they would be alti, soprani, etc. (i left out "piano" because, as a noun, it's short for pianoforte, which clouds the issue a little). But that's English for you. If they're loan words, why do we never give them back?
posted by ubiquity at 1:07 AM on September 9, 2009


heh, the OED is good enough for me.
posted by robotot at 3:15 AM on September 9, 2009


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