to have less and less faith in DS teacher

(84 Posts)
OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 13:24:39

He has to find some plurals for his spelling test.
Either she's being really clever or she does not actually know.


As she "has form" on homework mistakes and spelling errors - I suspect she does not know the mistake she's made.

FredFredGeorge Sat 30-Nov-13 13:31:26

die as the singular form of dice is pretty obsolete I'm afraid, YABU.

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 13:32:59

The singular form of dice is die. Look in a dictionary and that's what it is.

DrankSangriaInThePark Sat 30-Nov-13 13:33:06

Maybe she is trying to see which child knows that dice is already plural?

SilverApples Sat 30-Nov-13 13:33:10

Depends if she's going to insist that the plural of dice is dices.
Wait and see.

noblegiraffe Sat 30-Nov-13 13:33:21

No one uses die as the singular for dice in real life.

SilverApples Sat 30-Nov-13 13:34:21

School isn't real life though, in the same way that I'm spotted as a nerd because I use whom. grin

FredFredGeorge Sat 30-Nov-13 13:34:58

A singular form of dice is "die", however the more common singular form is dice.

Here's what the OED say:

"In modern standard English, the singular die (rather than dice) is uncommon. Dice is used for both the singular and the plural."

"noun (plural same)

1a small cube with each side having a different number of spots on it, ranging from one to six, thrown and used in gambling and other games involving chance"

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 13:35:58

I stand corrected. Apparently it is historical. When did history change?

I would use dice as the singular form - but technically I always thought that die was the correct version. Pedants would pick people up on that.

I just have little faith in her because of other errors she's made.

SilverApples Sat 30-Nov-13 13:36:47

But I have many polyhedra dice. So a die is not always a cube.
The definition is flawed.

SilverApples Sat 30-Nov-13 13:37:42

Language changes all the time.
That's why dictionaries get updated.

noblegiraffe Sat 30-Nov-13 13:37:52

I'm a maths teacher. None of the kids know what I'm on about if I say die.

It's going to disappear.

Along with people who use 'data' as if it is a plural.

SilverApples Sat 30-Nov-13 13:39:30

I still struggle with the evolution of that word.

scaevola Sat 30-Nov-13 13:40:56

"No one uses die as the singular for dice in real life."

Well, I often thought I was fairly invisible on MN, and this seems today that I don't exist at all. I am No One.

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 13:42:12

No one told me about die.

I blame the teachers for not teaching it.

We've also got curriculum and chateau.

Euphemia Sat 30-Nov-13 13:42:27

Likewise criteria as if it's singular, noblegiraffe. sad

SilverApples Sat 30-Nov-13 13:45:53

That would be curricula and chateaux ( with a circumflex over the first a in chateaux)

ErrorError Sat 30-Nov-13 13:53:23

Get your DS to write a really comprehensive response about how Die is the traditional singular term and Dice is the plural, but more commonly today, Dice is used to denote the singular, and Dices is the accepted plural.

She'll be well impressed. grin

UnknownGnome Sat 30-Nov-13 13:54:06

My 7 year old ds refers to it as a die and often corrects his younger sister. My pedantic ways are rubbing off on him!

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 13:56:16

I was thinking about chateau. Do we do French or English?

IslaValargeone Sat 30-Nov-13 13:57:20

Some of us are hanging on to the old ways.
My 11 year old uses die.

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 13:58:50

We've also got clergyman and chairman. My inner feminist is coming out.

Use the French for château/châteaux, just as you would for gâteau.

The thing with clergyman is that up until recently, you didn't really get female clergy (at least not in the mainstream). I can't remember the last time I say "chairman" at work. Meetings are chaired by chairs <helpful>

rabbitlady Sat 30-Nov-13 14:27:51

she's a teacher, not God, you don't need to have faith in her!

BalloonSlayer Sat 30-Nov-13 14:39:32

Dices the accepted plural?! My arse!

I know that the correct singular is die, and realise that most people use the word dice for the singular these days. But I have NEVER heard anyone use the word "dices" to refer to more than one of them.

It'd be like saying "sheeps" - just dumb.

Shente Sat 30-Nov-13 14:41:34

Not really sure why you have no faith in her based on the egs you have given, they represent a range of different ways of making the plural. If you don't like the clergy/chairman one you could get her to write that she prefers a non-gendered appellation"members of the clergy" or "chairs" but otherwise I can't see any cause for alarm. (she may not have written the questions herself anyway as there will be loads of pre-existing resources available to practise plurals).

ErrorError Sat 30-Nov-13 15:16:48

Actually yeah I have never said 'dices' myself, but my response was a little tongue in cheek, meaning to go above and beyond what's required to justify the teacher's expectations. Ah. But if the teacher was referring to the act of dicing food, then 'he/she dices potatoes' would make sense. However, it's the game cube/polyhedra whatever. I'm just confusing myself thinking about it!

No one uses die as the singular for dice in real life
They do in this house.
Parent of pedants.

noblegiraffe Sat 30-Nov-13 15:23:05

Ah, those saying 'I do' are on MN and therefore not in real life wink

Taz1212 Sat 30-Nov-13 15:26:26

Oh dear, more proof that I am a pedant. I use die for the singular- thought everyone did. blush

Metebelis3 Sat 30-Nov-13 15:29:08

NOBLE Yes they do. So long as they aren't illiterate.

FredFredGeorge Sat 30-Nov-13 15:34:11

You're not even pedants, but anachronistic pedants...

Do you insist on "Much was ate" to?

lljkk Sat 30-Nov-13 15:39:31

And I only use data in the plural, lol. Dinosaurs we are!

SilverApples Sat 30-Nov-13 15:40:12

Call summat by the wrong name in a lesson observation, get marked down.
Call summat by the right name, but the observer don't know it, get marked down.
Stuffed both ways really.

YouTheCat Sat 30-Nov-13 15:41:04

I use die for singular and have done since my d & d days.

Shente Sat 30-Nov-13 15:46:02

Fredfred, derailing a little but why would it ever be much was ate? Is eaten a new-fangled past participle?

defineme Sat 30-Nov-13 15:47:04

lljkk do you say 'datum' as singular then?

YouTheCat Sat 30-Nov-13 15:48:50

I also say datum as the singular.

FredFredGeorge Sat 30-Nov-13 15:55:02

It was just an example I readily remembered from a good piece on language and how it's fashion not rules really with English Grammar, it was from Jane Austen.

This looks like the piece I was remembering.

But when would you ever talk about a singular bit of data? Actually I think irl that's pretty much how I'd refer to it - as an item of data, not a datum.

Shente Sat 30-Nov-13 15:57:13

Data isn't really often found in yyther singular - wouldn't one piece of data just be a fact? To be data there needs to be an accumulation of information

lljkk Sat 30-Nov-13 15:59:34

i would probably say "data point" as the singular. Or "bit of information".
I say criterion a lot, though, using it properly.
tbh, I find handwringing over language change a bit silly, language always changes. I mostly like language changes. It's clarity of communication not set-in-stone convention that matters.

FredFredGeorge Sat 30-Nov-13 16:00:28

Data is quite often used in the singular as part of "data point" isn't it.

I think the distinction between fact and data is that it comes from research.

MaeMobley Sat 30-Nov-13 16:04:22

she's a teacher, not God, you don't need to have faith in her!

and I hope you do not share this lack of faith with your DC.

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 16:35:25

So - she wants us to find the plural.

So dice is fine. I might just mention that some people use die for a single dice.

Chateau - do we do chateaus or chateaux? Both correct according to OED.

Clergyman, chairman.

Curriculum - dictionary says curricula or curriculums.

This will be an interesting spelling test when they mark it.

complexnumber Sat 30-Nov-13 16:51:40

As another maths teacher, I always mention the fact that the singular of dice is die.

I then clarify any misconceptions pupils may have with mice, or with the plural of house...

(I am forever referring to 'criterion' and 'criteria' in boring paper work)

mrspremise Sat 30-Nov-13 17:02:13

I'm no-one. I do not exist. Neither do my ds9 or my ds7. We all know that one die, two dice is correct and use the correct forms. BECAUSE IT IS CORRECT. Just because some people get it wrong doesn't mean it stops being wrong, otherwise we'd all be voting for the BNP, ffs... angry

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Sat 30-Nov-13 17:07:27

Stop looking for something to bash the teacher over.

I do hope you're not critical and negative in front of the children.

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 17:12:58


This is the 5th thing recently about homework. Talking about homophones that aren't homophones, using split commas in homework, monosyllabic words that aren't and teaching how to multiply and divide by 10 incorrectly.

I am a primary teacher and I don't want to keep having to explain to DS the correct way to do it and why so and so is incorrect.

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 17:15:27

And I know enough primary teachers who can't spell, who can't use punctuation and grammar correctly and who can't do "hard" maths. I saw it on my course and I saw it at schools I have worked at.

LifeHuh Sat 30-Nov-13 17:17:51

Thing is it can be hard to not be critical about a teacher in front of your children when what they are being taught is wrong.

We had a lovely discussion the time DS's science teacher told the class sharks were mammals,like dolphins.We also had a truly awful and misleading homework about prefixes involving matching prefixes to the word where one word was "circus" (related to words like circumference but as far as I know "cir" isn't a prefix.Someone is going to tell me I'm wrong now ,aren't they grin )and some of the words only worked is you looked at Latin/anglo Saxon...rather off point for Year 3!

I don't diss the teacher personally,but I do sigh a bit.

Donki Sat 30-Nov-13 17:29:20

Another family that uses "die" for the singular....

FredFredGeorge Sat 30-Nov-13 17:33:36

Homophones that aren't homophones!!! Now you're not only attacking my grammar but my pronunciation too ;-)

Isn't one of the important lessons that parents need to teach their children is that no-one in any place of authority is right - teachers don't know everything, everyone can make mistakes etc. Being critical about mistakes and lack of knowledge is completely different to being critical of the person, although yes it can be difficult.

LifeHuh is cumnavigate some sort of method of avoiding semen during a sexual act? Maybe cir prefixes that in some strange etymology?

fedupandfifty Sat 30-Nov-13 17:54:30

In fairness, I don't think this teacher bashing. I think the op is entitled, as a teacher herself, to expect similar standards from a teacher. The example of die/ dice is perhaps a bit obscure for some, but surely the point of being a teacher is to research the topic s/he is supposed to be teaching?

LifeHuh Sat 30-Nov-13 18:14:10

LifeHuh is cumnavigate some sort of method of avoiding semen during a sexual act? Maybe cir prefixes that in some strange etymology?

grin and being a bit slow I had to read that more than once - my first reaction was I didn't type "cumnavigate",did I? shock
That'd be a really suitable homework for Year 3 then!!

Reminds me of "He's living incognito - Cognito is a small village in South America..." (or whatever the actual quote is...!)

Euphemia Sat 30-Nov-13 18:31:16

Wouldn't the answer be just as if the word was sheep, scissors or trousers?

That is:






The intention is to recognise that some words don't change from singular to plural.

That is, if you accept die as an anachronism. smile

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 18:35:08

True - but if you think die is the singular and you think dice is a plural, then it looks strange having the word dice as a singular.

harticus Sat 30-Nov-13 18:38:37

No one uses die as the singular for dice in real life

Er.... we do.

harticus Sat 30-Nov-13 18:41:30

Also pedantic about cannon for singular and plural.

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 18:42:25

Like I said, I was always taught die was the singular of dice.

I have taught that in my class. No one ever taught me that dice could also mean a single die grin

I must have missed the memo.

Why on earth would somebody say 'no one uses die for the singular anymore'? Of course they fucking do, because that's what they are called.
<mini pedant rage>

LiegeAndLief Sat 30-Nov-13 18:59:33

Hang on, there are loads of people who use data as a plural word. They're called scientists. If I'm reviewing something where someone has written "the data shows" or "the data is", I correct it!

I also correct misuse of apostrophes and commas. Now that I think about it, I am clearly a pedant and my colleagues probably all hate me.

FredFredGeorge Sat 30-Nov-13 19:06:48

LiegeAndLief the controversy is if data can be used as a singular, not as a plural, some people think it's only plural.

Can I be a pedant and point out none of you are pedants if you're correcting language, language doesn't have a correct form, so you cannot be pedantic about it surely?

Pixel Sat 30-Nov-13 20:49:36

We use 'die' here, as in 'the die is cast'.

BalloonSlayer Sat 30-Nov-13 21:10:13

"circus" (related to words like circumference but as far as I know "cir" isn't a prefix.Someone is going to tell me I'm wrong now ,aren't they

Umm well it's the "circ" bit I think you need to be looking at.

Without googling anything at all, AFAIK a "circus" is something round, eg Piccadilly Circus, a circle is round, a circumference is the measurement around the edge of a circle, you circumnavigate something by going around it. It's not hard to work out that the prefix Circ- denotes something round.

And who was it mentioned "dices potatoes" FGS? That's a VERB, not a plural noun. < gimme strength >

Taz1212 Sat 30-Nov-13 21:17:23

I just checked and both my DS(11) and DD(8) knew what the singular of dice was so it appears I am being successful in my mission to pass pedanticism to the next generation. grin

perfectview Sat 30-Nov-13 21:36:55

Don't get me started on 'stadiums'

BBC I am looking at you.

FredFredGeorge Sat 30-Nov-13 21:46:08

BalloonSlayer circ is not a prefix in the word circus because it doesn't modify the word us.

circum is a common prefix for around - used in circumnavigate, circumcision, circumvent, circumscribe etc. and yes it's completely connected to circus (which is just from ring/circle) but it's not a prefix.

Stadia vs Stadiums you appear to be losing that one perfectview

harticus Sat 30-Nov-13 21:57:58

Plurals of uncountable nouns drive me mad.
'Accommodations' being the worst.

perfectview Sat 30-Nov-13 22:13:19

Fredfredgeorge - don't I know it!

OrlandoWoolf Sat 30-Nov-13 22:15:26

We've done chateau as chateaux.

SE13Mummy Sun 01-Dec-13 00:01:13

My 8-year-old and 4-year-old regularly tell me it is die if there's only one. I've no idea who they've been talking to as neither DH or I call it a die and DH is a pedant usually.

On the other hand, a worryingly high proportion of my Y6 class believe that the plural of sheep is sheeps or sheepis hmm.

LifeHuh Sun 01-Dec-13 10:13:00

Yes FredFredGeorge! That was my point exactly! Circle and circus are related words,but the actual prefix used in English,which is what the children were learning about,is "circum"
Perfectly happy with circumflex,circumnavigate,circumference...but not circus.
Or circle. Actually while I accept "cir" may be a greek prefix denoting round,I think teaching Yr 3 British children using that is nuts - as it will be absolutely no help to them in RL.Some of the other words were similiar in that they were words from Latin,with a Latin prefix - but not useful when looking at English usage...

LifeHuh Sun 01-Dec-13 10:19:58

This is some of the homework,stored at the time for future irritation. Knew it was worse that just circle... (sorry OP,I'm feeling pain on the whole dice/die thing as well!)

A list of word to sort into boxes by beginning or ending - the implication being that these are the prefix or suffix.
One of these words is subtraction-suffix 'tion',I'm happy with that.But we also have words ending in 'ough'(enough),'ial'(special) and station(to go in the suffix 'tion' box).
At the other end we have the prefix 'a'and ,amongst other word,'again'.

Surely prefixes and suffixes do not cover any group of letters which can end or begin a word?(so not 'ough'etc,and ,in english, what about the 'as'at the beginning of ascend?)

Ooh,it annoyed me like stink at the time and it is annoying me all over again now!

chocoluvva Sun 01-Dec-13 13:16:34

It's amazing how quickly language changes - take the singular of 'rice' for example. Does anyone still use 'rye' as the singular? Do they heck - they crack into the ryvita without a thought for the ramifications. Hardly anyone over the age of forty uses rice-cakes these days. shock


(Apologies - I'm in a very silly mood).

Talkinpeace Sun 01-Dec-13 13:20:40

Choose your battles.
Save energy for the things that really matter.

Coconutty Sun 01-Dec-13 13:24:29

I think that is rubbish spelling homework. Waiting for the results with baited breath..

OrlandoWoolf Thu 05-Dec-13 17:18:39

Well according to DS, the teacher thinks die is the plural of dice confused
Will need to check his spelling book.

BlackeyedSusan Thu 05-Dec-13 18:33:06

we use die in this house. cbeebies use it as well. (on at least one occasion)

YouTheCat Thu 05-Dec-13 19:21:39

Oh fgs - seriously? She thinks die is the plural? Is this person not capable of looking in a dictionary?

I know you can't expect a primary teacher to know everything, but I'd expect them to be able to google and use a dictionary.

This teacher should not be teaching.

OrlandoWoolf Thu 05-Dec-13 19:29:16

Well, I normally take what DS says with a large pinch of salt but he is adamant about it.

chocoluvva Fri 06-Dec-13 08:50:25

My DD had a Y6 teacher who wouldn't accept (when queried by a pupil) that 'Beans is tasty' is incorrect. I can see how she thought that - 'Rice is tasty' eg, but the children lost respect for her.

SconeForAStroll Fri 06-Dec-13 11:27:33

<clasps Orlando to bosom>

I am having this exact internal battle at the moment. DD's teacher is appalling not very good. I am getting very annoyed at having to reteach the subject of the homework every weekend as poor dd comes home befuddled because the teacher has told her that a metaphor cannot be personification.

And before I get jumped on, I was a primary teacher too. I do know how stressful it can be, but it isn't right to give a child a maths test that is supposed to take 40 minutes and watch it be finished in 10 and then ignore the child for thirty minutes.

sashh Fri 06-Dec-13 13:28:14

I use die and dice, never dices.

My mother is even more old fashioned, she measures with a rule, a ruler apparently is the queen.

Don't get me started on the university lecturer who changed my British spellings to American and kept saying we were doing an exercise so we would be 'more readier' for work.

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