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To say you can't call cartons of milk 'milks'?

(39 Posts)
MollyHuaCha Tue 27-Jun-17 17:48:58

As in 'I've just put two milks in the trolley?' overheard at the supermarket.

What has happened to the English language?!

Sirzy Tue 27-Jun-17 17:50:22

It may not be perfect English but I can't get wound up about it.

Scribblegirl Tue 27-Jun-17 17:50:32

My mum says 'can you pick up a milk if you pass the co-op' but wouldn't pluralise it.

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Jun-17 17:51:35

How do you feel about "a fruit"?

firawla Tue 27-Jun-17 17:52:59

I wouldn't see the issue with that! Yabu

Elmo230885 Tue 27-Jun-17 17:53:16

Sorry but if I wanted someone to pick up milk for me I would say "get us a couple of milks please", maybe its because I'm a northerner?

DailyMailReadersAreThick Tue 27-Jun-17 17:53:33

I get irritated when people say 'fruits'.

Milks makes no sense at all.

Elmo230885 Tue 27-Jun-17 17:54:12

Actually probably more like "get us a couple of milks ta/cheers" 😀

Scribblegirl Tue 27-Jun-17 17:56:33

Actually, I might say in a pub: 'Oh, I'll have a wine please'. What I mean is a glass of wine, what they mean is a bottle of milk - both things that come in quantifiable packages but as liquids would usually be 'some' not 'a'. The difference being that we all know what container the liquid comes in, so we can skip out that bit.

I'd also say 'So that's an ale and two wines', so I suppose it works as a plural. Nb I'm considering this against common usage, not pedant's corner standards!

ElBandito Tue 27-Jun-17 17:57:02

No different a quantity of coffee, gin or any other drink? In a pub would you ask for
two gin and tonics or
two glasses of gin and tonic

FakePlasticTeaLeaves Tue 27-Jun-17 18:02:59

Two milks sounds like you want two glasses of milk.

Sirzy Tue 27-Jun-17 18:08:37

Fake - surely that would depend on context and who was saying it?

If I was going to the shop and my mum asked me to grab her two milks I would know she meant two four pint bottles of milk.

araiwa Tue 27-Jun-17 18:11:19

The joy of uncountable nouns

DailyMailReadersAreThick Tue 27-Jun-17 18:13:15

I'd also say 'So that's an ale and two wines', so I suppose it works as a plural. Nb I'm considering this against common usage, not pedant's corner standards!

It'll be interesting to see if this is common usage, because it isn't for me. I'd always say "an ale and two glasses of wine". If someone asked me for "two wines" I'd say, "glasses or bottles?"... both being things one could feasibly order at a bar.

Maybe it's regional? I'm Southern.

FakePlasticTeaLeaves Tue 27-Jun-17 18:14:37

Sirzy Yes of course. I meant that 'two drinks of milk' is what the 'two milks' makes me think of in isolation. In the shop, I would obviously jump to a different conclusion as you say.

FakePlasticTeaLeaves Tue 27-Jun-17 18:16:21

DailyMailReadersAreThick I'm from London and would never really say a glass of wine, just 'two wines please'. They would probably say 'small or large".

HeyRoly Tue 27-Jun-17 18:17:21

I would say it colloquially, yes.

drinkingtea Tue 27-Jun-17 18:21:31

Milk is an uncountable noun. Bottles or cartons or glasses are countable nouns.

Could you pick up some milk is correct. If you want a specific quantity you specify the countable measurement (liters) or refer to the container.

That's the grammar answer. It's important to know whether a noun is countable when learning English because it impacts on the structure of sentences containing the noun, but as a native speaker of any language you can do as you please with it, generally.

drinkingtea Tue 27-Jun-17 18:22:17

The grammar based answer, I mean

JigsawBat Tue 27-Jun-17 18:26:00

"Two milks" is quicker to say than "two cartons/bottles of milk". I'm all about being as quick as possible in the supermarket.

SequinsOnEverything Tue 27-Jun-17 18:29:12

Of course you can. If you said "I've put two milks in the trolley" it's clear what you mean.

drinkingtea Tue 27-Jun-17 18:29:47

If you refer to "two milks" in the supermarket, do you only ever buy one specific sized bottle/ carton? I'd say how many litres in an English supermarket as there are so many different sized bottles and cartons...

ilovegin112 Tue 27-Jun-17 18:32:04

What's easier than saying two pints of milk please x

GuntyMcGee Tue 27-Jun-17 18:34:51

I'd say two bottles of milk. In reference to two 4-pinters.

My DH says 'I'm just going to make the cup of teas' it gives me the rages and I always have to say 'don't you mean cups of tea?' As in, two cups of tea, not one cup with more than one tea.

Firesuit Tue 27-Jun-17 18:35:08

I don't think "two milks" is ungrammatical. One just has to understand that in this context "milk" is a reference to a container of milk of a given size. Perhaps this use of "milk" is (shopping) jargon?

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