Irises forum: Proper spelling

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Nov 9, 2011 11:48 AM CST
I notice on the forum listing the spelling Irises. I always thought the word Iris was both singular and plural...I have one iris...I have 7 Iris. Is the use of iris as a plural wrong or are both iris and irises acceptable as the plural? Confused Confused Confused
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Nov 9, 2011 12:32 PM CST
Paul! I am the worlds worst speller and will forgive anything as long as grammer is corrct and I can recognise the word
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Nov 9, 2011 1:16 PM CST
My dictionary gives the plural of iris as 'irises' and 'irides'. I do not think any members pretend to be spelling critics so just about anything goes. We all know what the writer intends to say.
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

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PollyK
Nov 9, 2011 1:19 PM CST
Paul,

Note on the upper left of the AIS site. They use irises.

http://www.irises.org/
[Last edited by PollyK - Nov 9, 2011 1:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 9, 2011 1:57 PM CST

Plants Admin

I believe "irises" is the correct plural form of the noun, and I'm the opposite of Paul: I get annoyed when I see "iris" used as the plural. Smiling
Name: Polly Kinsman
Hannibal, NY (Zone 6a)

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PollyK
Nov 9, 2011 2:02 PM CST
You get annoyed, Zu? Ha, not you!
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 9, 2011 2:05 PM CST

Plants Admin

I really do, Polly. Smiling In the case of clematis, I've ceased to be annoyed because so many people stopped saying "clematises" that "clematis" became an officially recognized (although incorrect) form of the plural noun. I avoid that whole thing by calling them "clems."
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Nov 9, 2011 2:24 PM CST
I'm enjoying this discussion......then should it be Mid-America Irises Garden or Napa Country Irises Garden? Would I be correct to say that I have an iris garden but that my garden contains many irises? English was my best subject in school. *Blush*
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Zuzu
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zuzu
Nov 9, 2011 2:49 PM CST

Plants Admin

Yes, you're correct: You have an iris garden, which contains many irises.

The names of public gardens usually don't use the plural for any type of flower. If you find it confusing, try comparing it to nouns with undisputed plural forms, such as "rose" and "roses." You'll never hear about a municipal roses garden or a memorial roses garden. The singular form is almost always used in those cases.
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
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pardalinum
Nov 9, 2011 2:58 PM CST
My 2 cents worth... in the case of say, gardens (or fragrance etc), the plant name is an adjective, not a noun, so the plural form does not apply. The rose or iris preceding the noun "garden" describes what type of garden, hence the term adjective applies.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Nov 9, 2011 3:15 PM CST
This has been a great refresher course. I think I use the term Hosta as both singular and plural which is also incorrect.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Zuzu
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zuzu
Nov 9, 2011 3:24 PM CST

Plants Admin

The plural form of hosta is hostas.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Nov 9, 2011 3:27 PM CST
Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Lincoln, NE
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Moby
Nov 9, 2011 3:29 PM CST
I think the difficulty comes when there is an 's' near the end of the word; making it plural sometimes sounds wrong.

Good job pard, I was just going to add a noun vs. adj. comment.

Where are we going, and why am I in this hand-basket?
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
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Paul2032
Nov 9, 2011 3:31 PM CST
If I type the word hosta on my computer it is underlined as incorrect but with a cap...Hosta...it is ok. Is that just a oddity in my computers spell check or is there some reason it should have a capital H?
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 9, 2011 3:41 PM CST

Plants Admin

All plant names really should be capitalized when the name of the plant is the same as the name of the genus. We rarely do that in the forums, but they should be initial capped in any less casual context.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
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Paul2032
Nov 9, 2011 3:47 PM CST
Interesting discussion. It seems that sometimes common usage and proper usage differ. I guess at 68 there is still time for me to learn. I've really had to bone-up on my spelling. Thanks to everyone.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 9, 2011 3:56 PM CST

Plants Admin

I'm 68 too, Paul, and I'm learning all the time. Sometimes there are regional differences in common usage as well, and there certainly are regional differences in the pronunciation of plant names.

Some people are stumped by the singular forms too. I've seen people refer to one Impatiens or Pentas as an "Impatien" or a "Penta."
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Nov 9, 2011 4:17 PM CST
I have 8 years on you both & can't learn a thing, especially with computers. My computer doesn't like it when I use an 'understood' subject. It can go back to school.
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Nov 9, 2011 4:20 PM CST

Plants Admin

I had to turn off my grammar correction option in MS-word because it kept suggesting the silliest things. It hates passive sentences, for instance, so if I typed: "Many aircraft of this class had been built by 1945," it suggested that I correct it to: "1945 had built many aircraft of this class."

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