A WORD IN THE HAND: CANNON
The explosive classic between an excellent read and a hollow reed
A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd
An observant reader queried why the same newspaper or website will sometimes use different plurals for “cannon”. I investigated and discovered he was right: in one article police used water cannons to disperse a crowd; in another they used water cannon.
Both are correct. Like rhino, cannon is one of those words that doesn’t need an “s” on the end when found in a group (this would be a crash of rhino versus a stand of cannon), but it’s also perfectly fine to say rhinos or cannons.
So much for rules. The plural of canon with one “n”, however, is always canons...