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A Pair of ......

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A Pair of ......

Nowt on the telly last night, this thought came into my head...

 

Why do certain items have the prefix  " A pair of.... "   yet they are not a pair at all really...

 

E.G. A pair of trousers....  it is only one item of clothing... not two... yet we have a saying  "a pair of gloves" or... " a pair of shoes"... because there are two items ..

 

OK.. so you may argue the trousers have two legs... and should be called a Pair of.... Trousers... BUT... we don`t say " a pair of shirts"   which has two arms... nor do the ladies say " A pair of bra "...   it is referred to in the singular... just "A Bra"...

 

I am sure there are many other things that come under similar identitiy crises... any offers ?  ? ?

 

A pair of glasses, becomes something of an exception to both rules... it is one item,.... but it does have, literally two glasses ..so can be called " a pair of glasses".. 

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Re: A Pair of ......

Five pints of the local East Mill Bitter would have me seeing a pair of glasses.

 

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alanf
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Re: A Pair of ......

An obvious one is a pair of scissors

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Re: A Pair of ......

A pair of pants?
Pair of boxers?
Pair of shorts?

A pair of binoculars is interesting as, surely, bi already means two so are we really saying 4 'noculars'Cheesy

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Re: A Pair of ......

Apparently it's an historical thing.

 

And pants (pantaloons) were originally two like things. You put them on one leg at a time because they actually came in two pieces. You put on one leg, tied it around your waist, then put on the other. From the beginning, about the 16th Century, pants have been referred to as a pair.

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Re: A Pair of ......


alanf wrote:

An obvious one is a pair of scissors


https://community.plus.net/t5/General-Chat/Can-you-identify-this/m-p/1106160#M153710

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Re: A Pair of ......

@Strat Yeah, but.......................   you can`t cut anything with only one scissor..... you must have two scissors to make it work... therefore it IS a Pair of....

 

Presumably the word Scissors is some modernism of the original Incisor... for cutting..  ? ? ? ?

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Re: A Pair of ......

Maybe it's related to scythe?

 

Two small scythes to make a pair of ...........

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Re: A Pair of ......

Similar in vein to the binoculars what about a pair of eyes!

 

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Re: A Pair of ......

Just thought of another; what about an Au Pair!

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Re: A Pair of ......

@Mook  A pair of eyes is ok... cos there is usually two of them... ( except on potatoes!  !  )

 

 

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Re: A Pair of ......

@Mook   What about an Au Pair.?........ Yes please... I`ll have two  ! ! !  ( to make a pair of Au Pairs !! !  )..

 

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Re: A Pair of ......

Ah, @shutter exactly, eyes is in the plural, so surely a pair of eyes would be 4!

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Re: A Pair of ......

No.... That would be incorrect english.....  You cannot have a pair of eye.... or a pair of leg... a pair of shoe.....   as you are already indicating in the sentence that there are more than one item, by the use of the word "pair"  so the correct english is  A Pair of eyes...

 

 

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Re: A Pair of ......

Yes, I see what you mean. Me being over picky again! Or plain stupid. Grin There are times I do wonder why I got up in the morning.