View Poll Results: How do you spell the plurals of "tomato" and "potato"?
Potatoes and tomatoes 233 94.72%
Potatos and tomatos 9 3.66%
Some combination of these (please elaborate) 3 1.22%
Who do you think I am, Dan Quayle? 12 4.88%
Get a life, you two! 5 2.03%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 246. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-06-2011, 09:17 PM
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Plural of "tomato" and "potato"

Airman and I engaged in some discussion of a handwritten sign that I saw this afternoon. The sign says "Sorry, we're out of Tomatoes!" (That's verbatim.) I was so impressed with this burst of unexpected literacy that I took a picture of it and posted it to Facebook.

I, of course, know that the plural of "tomato" is "tomatoes". Airman, on the other hand, feels that the plural of "tomato" can be "tomatos". The OED, for what it's worth, backs him up, but to me, that just looks wrong.

This is not a "who's right" thing, because the OED does show "tomatos" as an alternate plural. This is more of a "How do most people do it?" thing.
Old 06-06-2011, 09:21 PM
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You can spell it tomatos in the same way you spell hobos. It's your choice. That's what America is about: choice.
Old 06-06-2011, 09:28 PM
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Never ever heard or seen it as "tomatos"...always spelled it (and seen it) as "tomatoes".
Old 06-06-2011, 09:35 PM
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The plural of to-MAY-to is to-MAH-to.
Old 06-06-2011, 10:07 PM
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You left off the correct choice: "Let's call the whole thing off!"
Old 06-06-2011, 10:10 PM
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I spell it tomatoes and potatoes if someone else will see it so I don't get sucked into an argument about it but in stuff that's for my eyes only I have too much respect for E to whore her out like that.
Old 06-06-2011, 10:31 PM
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The rule is to add es if the o is preceded by a consonant. There are 80 million uses of "tomatoes" on Google, but only 2.3 million uses of "tomatos." Also, every spell check I've used counts the latter as spelled incorrectly.
Old 06-06-2011, 10:37 PM
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It should be "tomatoes" and "potatoes" - like the words "heroes" and "tornadoes". Unfortunately though, as we all know, if enough people spell a word wrongly for a long enough period of time, sooner or later it becomes accepted as being correct.

But I vow to keep spelling these words the way they're supposed to be!
Old 06-06-2011, 10:47 PM
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Problem with "tomatos" is that it looks like the last syllable should be pronounced "-toss" instead of "-toes".

Last edited by Princhester; 06-06-2011 at 10:47 PM.
Old 06-07-2011, 02:06 AM
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Both ways are correct, but -oes is preferred.
Old 06-07-2011, 02:33 AM
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Potato's and Tomato's















What?

~os looks wrong to me (despite what the dictionaries say) - makes the writer look less than fully literate, IMO.

Last edited by Mangetout; 06-07-2011 at 02:35 AM.
Old 06-07-2011, 10:30 AM
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The plural of tomato is tomatoes.
The plural of potato is spuds.

Seriously, I try to avoid writing the plural of potato because I can never quite remember if it has an e or not. I don't want people to think I'm as stupid as Dan Quayle, so I either write spuds or look it up. Writing spuds is a lot easier. Oddly, I never have much trouble remembering that tomatoes has an e. Maybe that's because until I was about 15 years old I was convinced the singular had an e: tomatoe.
Old 02-16-2013, 03:39 PM
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'os', 'oes' & 'ose'

'Tomatos' refers to the fruit, 'tomatoes' refers to the vegetable, and 'tomatose' refers to the sugar.
I'm not sure if 'potatoes' follow the same rule, but I would assume that it possibly does for the vegetable and sugar, but not for the fruit since potato is clearly not a fruit. Although the plant itself does produce fruit.
Old 02-16-2013, 03:43 PM
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Tomatos. Looks like a Greek word.
Old 02-16-2013, 03:58 PM
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For the digits on Marisa's nether limbs, the plural is Tomei toes.
Old 02-20-2013, 03:39 AM
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Tomatoes - but I wouldn't capitalise the word unless it was at the beginning of a sentence. It's not a proper noun as far as I'm aware.
Old 02-20-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princhester View Post
Problem with "tomatos" is that it looks like the last syllable should be pronounced "-toss" instead of "-toes".
As in "Dory-toss", the well known corn chip.
Old 02-20-2013, 11:32 AM
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"Problem with "tomatos" is that it looks like the last syllable should be pronounced "-toss" instead of "-toes". "


That's what it looks like to you? Tomatoss? The t-o-m-a-t-o part didn't give you any clue as to pronunciation?
Old 02-20-2013, 12:31 PM
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There’s no good reason to add a “e”.
Old 02-20-2013, 03:39 PM
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I just buy them one at a time. Issue avoided.
Old 02-21-2013, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
I spell it tomatoes and potatoes if someone else will see it so I don't get sucked into an argument about it but in stuff that's for my eyes only I have too much respect for E to whore her out like that.
Whor her out...
Old 02-21-2013, 10:55 PM
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The plural of "to-may-to" is tomatoes.

The plural of "to-mah-to" is tomatos.
Old 02-21-2013, 11:16 PM
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What's the plural of tomatillo?
Old 02-21-2013, 11:35 PM
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But seriously dudes- why add a "E"?
Old 02-22-2013, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
What's the plural of tomatillo?
"salsa"
Old 02-22-2013, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
But seriously dudes- why add a "E"?
Because the spelling of English words is often irrational and inconsistent. You can decide that it's more sensible to act tuf or have a cawf but most people are not going to understand what you're on about.
Old 02-22-2013, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Ichbin Dubist View Post
Because the spelling of English words is often irrational and inconsistent. You can decide that it's more sensible to act tuf or have a cawf but most people are not going to understand what you're on about.
Really? No one will understand Tomatos?

Last edited by DrDeth; 02-22-2013 at 10:21 AM.
Old 02-22-2013, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibliophage View Post
I don't want people to think I'm as stupid as Dan Quayle,
Quayle only spelled potato[e] wrong because the official answer card the school gave him spelled it wrong. Hardly the act of stupidity it's been made out to be, and certainly not worth mocking someone about two decades later.
Old 02-22-2013, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBG View Post
Quayle only spelled potato[e] wrong because the official answer card the school gave him spelled it wrong. Hardly the act of stupidity it's been made out to be,
Yes, it is. A non-stupid person would have immediately seen the error and corrected for it.
Quote:
and certainly not worth mocking someone about two decades later.
OK, that question depends on which party or faction you side with.
Old 02-22-2013, 06:05 PM
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Well, while were at it, does anybody think that "noes" just looks weird? As in: "In answer to the question, there was a chorus of 'noes'."
Old 02-22-2013, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Well, while were at it, does anybody think that "noes" just looks weird? As in: "In answer to the question, there was a chorus of 'noes'."
Yep.

Now, other than "that's the way they taught me" does anyone have a good reason for adding a un-needed "E" in there?
Old 02-22-2013, 06:43 PM
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How about buffalo -- which has no less than three acceptable plurals: add {s}, {es} or {}.

[hijack for anecdote]
A Peace Corps worker near my home managed to almost ignore me for her year, despite that we kept crossing paths at Internet shops. When her term was almost up, we crossed again in an ice cream shop. She was in some light argument with another English teacher, acknowledging me only to ask for the plural of "buffalo" ... presumably to settle her argument. I hesitated, so she confronted me sarcastically with "What's the plural of fish?" I smiled and mentioned the "fishes" possibility, whereupon she turned away in anger and never spoke to me again.

Last edited by septimus; 02-22-2013 at 06:44 PM.
Old 02-23-2013, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Yep.

Now, other than "that's the way they taught me" does anyone have a good reason for adding a un-needed "E" in there?
I guess it's no weirder than "yeses", which looks like some Nordic version of Jesus.
Old 02-23-2013, 08:55 PM
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What about banjo, gecko and mango?
Old 04-08-2014, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
The rule is to add es if the o is preceded by a consonant. There are 80 million uses of "tomatoes" on Google, but only 2.3 million uses of "tomatos." Also, every spell check I've used counts the latter as spelled incorrectly.
Commando pl. commandos

therefore argument is invalid
Old 04-08-2014, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by thadea View Post
Commando pl. commandos

therefore argument is invalid
There are exceptions to every "rule." Those don't invalidate it in general.

Last edited by cochrane; 04-08-2014 at 03:44 PM.
Old 04-08-2014, 03:53 PM
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In my opinion, it can go either way. Like "grey" or "gray". Not every spelling question needs a definitive answer. But I "-es" looks right to me, so that's what I use.
Old 04-08-2014, 04:26 PM
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In my personal life, I would spell both plurals with an 'e', but if I were a making a sign, I might spell it without the 'e' to help keep prices low by using less ink.
Old 04-08-2014, 06:31 PM
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Tomati and potati.
Old 04-08-2014, 07:31 PM
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Maters and taters.
Old 04-08-2014, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabiru View Post
Tomatoes - but I wouldn't capitalise the word unless it was at the beginning of a sentence. It's not a proper noun as far as I'm aware.
Damn. Didn't realise this was a zombie and intended posting almost exactly as above. I beat myself to it.
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