The explosive classic between an excellent read and a hollow reed

Ideas

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

Deputy features editor: Sunday Times

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...

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