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Unread Sep 12th, 2012, 11:39 am
susan53 susan53 is offline
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Default Re: informations, behaviours, invectives, etc.

There's nothing unusual about behaviours - it's a noun which can be used uncountably (in everyday speech) or countably (in a technical sense, eg in psychology). and yes, you will find it in a concordancer. I found a total of 11 examples including ...

...in maybe double that. Er, associated with that are certain BEHAVIOURS, typically vomiting, laxative abuse, erm, use of

...as equivalent, even though they have different possible BEHAVIOURS once the refusal of "d" has been observed and an
...minimal acceptances and terminations, and if their possible BEHAVIOURS after each communication are equivalent. These la
...an observer who cannot detect their internal structure, the BEHAVIOURS of P and Q are indistinguishable. Further, since
...first investigated in the Lorenz equations although these BEHAVIOURS have since been recognised as typical of


So it's a mistake only if it's used in an "everyday" sense - eg * He was shouting and swearing. His behaviours shocked me.

Invectives is also fine :

Scientists are no slouches when it comes to pitching invectives at colleagues (from a Scientific American article - Wronger Than Wrong: Scientific American)
Invectives poured through letter boxes (from the book The Home Front )


"informations" on the other hand, doesn't show up, and yes is a mistakes if you are using British, American, Australian, Canadian, etc varieties of English - though not necessarily if you are using another variety of English which has its own norms, eg Hong Kong English (see here) - where many words are used countably - for example staffs and aircrafts.

However, as I have said repeatedly in this forum, you cannot quote examples from 300+ years ago as "proof" that something exists. The fact that "informations" used to be used countably doesn't mean that it it normal usage now. The language changes. Here's a line from one of Marlowe's plays : Dost thou thou me, thou villain? neither "dost" nor "thou" (whether as pronoun or verb) would be used nowadays, and you'd sound very strange if you tried.

Some uncountable nouns are starting to be used countably within all varieties of English however, and it's quite possible that information will soon change back. It's already happening, for example, with equipment:

and that made certain EQUIPMENTS non-common and we have had to take a larger share
Well er thank you very much. ask, how many EQUIPMENTS have still to be selected? Erm the answer is is v
have a note on those figures hmm right, yeah but all these EQUIPMENTS would have been selected by by competition would
we have had to take a larger share of the costs of those EQUIPMENTS than originally planned. Okay.
There are three EQUIPMENTS that have been selected where the contracts have
so erm how much in total and or proportionally was due to EQUIPMENTS themselves being more expensive than expected
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