The Plural Rebellion Part 2

Last time in “The Politics of Words: The Plural Rebellion Part 1” we constructed a land filled with letters and numbers called Alphabet Land. We met a letter named S, who felt scorned and thought he was better than the other letters. He had the power to make things plural, as he could turn an apple into many apples, and, with the help of Apostrophe, he could help nouns claim ownership of things.

Well, the letter S became a bit drunk with his new found powers and his head swelled with a sense of superiority. He treated the other letters with arrogance and thought they should see him as the most important letter.

Yet, they greeted S’s snotty behavior with jokes and snickers. S feels scored from his peers and he devised a plan to take over Alphabet Land.

The Plural Rebellion Part 2


S had devised a plan as he sat in the lunchroom and watched the letter F get a drink from the fountain. He would need the help of his friend Y, but that would be later. For the plan’s fist step, he only needed to pull a prank on the letter F.

F by the fountain S saunters over...

F by the fountain S saunters over…

S reached into his book bag and pulled out a marker, a peice of paper, and a bit of tape. With the marker, S wrote “Kick Me” on the page and put the bit of tape at the top. He then walked over to fountain and taped the page to F’s back with a tap on his back.

“Hello S.” F said as he turned to see who had tapped him on the back.

“Salutations, F. How are you doing?” S said.
“I’m quite well S. Thank you for asking.” F said.
“F, I have something to tell you and I don’t think you will like it.”
“Really S, what could it be?”

“It’s the other letters, they all hate you” S whispered as he moved in close to F. “They don’t think you are funny, they think you are a joke.”

“Oh S, the other letters like me well enough.” F said.

S then reached around F and plucked the note off his back. He gave the note to F for examination.

“You see F, the other letters wrote this note and tapped it to your back. They have been laughing at you all day. But I have a plan to get back at all of them.”

F was frustrated by the “Kick me” note on his back and blamed the other letters because he did not know what S had done. F agreed to join up with S and they would meet each other later that night.

Though unannounced to both of them, the letter E, who was quite close to F, eavesdropped on their conversation and knew that S was up to shenanigans. S left to find the letter Y and E followed him at a safe distance to go unnoticed.

The letter Y was a bit of a loner and S found by himself on the playground. Like S, Y had a chip on his shoulder and he regretted his position in the Alphabet, where he stood next to Z who was such a bore. Though Y was a unique letter in that he belong to the vowel group with A, E, I, O, and U , but he never felt like he fully belonged as his membership was only sometimes.

Y and S

A pair to take on the house.


“Salutations Y, I have been looking all over for you.” S said as he walked up to his friend.
“Yeah S, it’s good to see you. Why have you been looking for me” Y said.
“Well I’m sick of the other letters, I have devised a plan to take over Alphabet land and we will rule them all.”
“Oh S, please do tell me your plan.”
“It’s really quite simple, Y. With the help of F and yourself, we can turn a wolf into many wolfs, and an army into many armys. We can then use our pluralized forces to take over Alphabet land.”
“Why S, that is a brilliant plan, when should we act?”
“Tonight, at 8 p.m. we will meet with F and enact our plan.”

S and Y left to prepare for their plan, while E, who was in the bushes nearby, heard the whole plan and left to gather reinforcements. He ran to get all the other letters.

Later that night, when S, Y, and F met but right before they could spring their trap, all the other letter descended upon the trechrious trio. They arrested the trio and brought them to court where judge J resides.

After hearing the case, J thought long and hard about what should be done. S was a letter and his powers of plurality and possession were a boon to the Alphabet community. However S needed some laws to restrict his ego and J thought he had just the right one. The court room sat in silence in anticipation of J’s verdict.

“This court has found that S is guilty of masterminding a plural rebellion. He enlisted the help of Y and F.” J declared, “From now until the end of time, S can no longer stand besides F or Y. Instead to pluralize nouns that end in y, letters I and E will take his place to watch over S. To pluralize words that end in F, letters V and E will take his place to further watch over S.”

With a bang of J’s gavel, his words became law. Now under E’s watchful eye, S could no longer manipulate the other letters. Wolves became the pluralized version of wolf and Armies became the pluralized version of army. No longer could S manipulate his fellow letters as he is always under E’s watchful eye.

The Moral Ending

The tale of the Plural Rebellion is only a myth and a work of fiction, however many of the elements of the story are true:

With an apostrophe, the letter S helps nouns to take possession of things, as the puppy became the boy’s puppy.

There is a letter group called vowels that consists of the letters, A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y.

The letter S can pluralize words, as a hat can become many hats with the letter S.

To pluralize a word that ends in Y, then you need to replace the Y with a letters I and E and add an S at the end, as army becomes armies.

To pluralize a word than ends in F, you need to replace the F with the letters V and E with the S, as wolf becomes wolves.

Join us next time as we delve deeper into grammar with our guide “The Politics of Words”

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4 thoughts on “The Plural Rebellion Part 2

  1. Pingback: The Plural Rebellion Part 1 : Politics of Words | American NonFiction

  2. Just love your adaptation of the “politics of words” concept: internecine strife in Alphabet Land. Excellent for many educational uses.
    I was introduced to the concept of “the politics of words” in the 1970’s when a doctoral student at Washington University, St. Louis and my adaption of it was the uses to which words were put during the English Civil War. The proposition was that words in particular and language in general were actors in the histories they represented where the politics or purposes of the people who used the words/language were, thereby, as often impeded as they were advanced. Sometimes, not often, this led to quarrels over specific letters and punctuation, including pointscoring over misspelling.

    To this last matter I have made notes that would remove some errors that could divert your reader’s attention from what I take to be your main purpose, this being to demonstrate that within the history of language development there is a struggle going on for ownership of the world we live in. I have joined this struggle on the side of those who have been dispossessed, I wonder if you have too, If so, the idea of a collaboration through the médium of film just might be of interest.

    Currently living in Mexico , working at La Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM) where a 90 day strike led by students has succesfully halted the apostrophe-S advances by the Rectora (Esther Orozco) on the originating principles of UACM. The forces now gathered to defeat her “Plural Rebellion”,do carry the reasonable hope of a paradigm shift in education here and elsewhere. I mean how much fun would learning a language become if the staff you´re doing was in classrooms! I´m sending your blog to my former wife (internationally published expert in these matters) and my teacher daughter in Australia, where I´m from, to get their views. My son Peter Graham, currently Executive Director of Global Buildings, also has an educated interest in using a variety of instruments to reduce global warming. The use of stories is one of them.

    Connection with Spirals Work in Concert
    ( http://www.youtube.com/user/SpiralsWorkinConcert ) , my in-progress completion of a profile on Linkedin (http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?trk=tab_pro ) and song lyrics on Fandalism (http://fandalism.com/spiraljohn ) and a scan of John Graham on Facebook, will give you some idea of what I´ve been doing and why I´ve been doing it.

    Again congratulations on your “The Politics of Words”.
    Spiral on!
    John

    Errata:
    Plural Rebellion1
    • Unless a pesonification, then it´s “the WAIL of weeping”, although the image of a bawling Moby Dick is attractive.
    • Unless to invoke Orwell, (in which case two capital B´s) its “big brother”
    • Inconsistent use of the comma before “but”
    • “He COULD hear snickers” .And “sniggers” might be better given the existence of the chocolate-peanut bar. Could distract class attention from the lesson-plan.

    Plural Rebellion 2
    • “constructed A land”
    • “an apple INTO”
    • “S felt SCORNED”
    • “For the FIRST time”
    • “pulled out a MARKER [marker pen]
    • “and TAPED it on”
    • “found BY HIMSELF in the playground” , an example of what is called “elegant variation”.
    • “Oh, S, please do tell me your plan”
    • “Tonight at 8 (p.m. redundant; in any event not “P.m”)
    • “S and Y left to prepare their plan COMMA
    • “all the other Letters”
    • “Later that night DELETE COMMA after Y
    • “plotting pair” (pair =2) but Y makes 3. Therefore “plotting pair” could be “Treacherous trio”
    • “all the other LETTERS
    • “J THOUGHT”
    • “However COMMA
    • “J APOSTROPHE s verdict”
    • “ J declared :
    • “ Instead to pluralize etc REPLACE “Herewith, and to further control S’s ambitions, its/his/her/ place will be taken by the letter I and E whenever pluralizing words that end in Y.”
    • “ So COMMA
    • “NOW, UNDER E’S WATCHFUL EYE, S COULD NO LONGER MANIPULATE HIS FELLOW LETTERS.
    • “work of fiction FULL STOP However COMMA
    • “ elements are true. First, with an apostrophe etc Second, there is a group etc.Third, that by adding the letter S, we can pluralize, like making hat into hats. Fourth, that to pluralize words ending in Y we need to replace Y with I and E, and then add the S. This way army becomes armies. Finally, to pluralize a word that ends in F, we need to replace the F with V and E and then add the S.”
    • “Join US

  3. Wow John I am pretty speechless as we hardly ever get an in-depth comments such as yours and I truly thank you for it. Thank you for all the helpful edits as well. The corrections have been implemented and received with even more thanks to you.

    To be totally honest, I started this version of the Politics of Words as an alternative grammar guide for people like me, who might be a bit dyslexic and have trouble learning grammar in other ways. I had no idea that I was joining a larger theory of thought, though it is nice to be in a boat with like minded individuals.

    Though you make a great point. S’s plural rebellion is quite a metaphor for the ills of unchained capitalism. Marx’s words appear to live on far beyond the limits of his mortality. A hope that we should all have for our own words. Then to have those words taught in a classroom, now you are talking amazing things.

    We are most certainly on same wave length and I’m sure it comes as little surprise that I am a Sociology major and am an avid activist for the dispossessed, as well. Please contact me any time at wesleyabridle@gmail.com.

    Thank you again for the words, help, and encouragement.

    Heartfelt Departing Sentiments,
    Wesley A. Bridle