Dear 100 Hour Board,
What is the correct plural of Book of Mormon?
Your typical grammar snob would hastily respond with:
"Books of Mormon, of course" + self-satisfied smirk;
However, recently when I reacted with this response, it was called to my attention that Books of Mormon implies that Mormon wrote multiple books, and one is referring to more than one of them. In thinking about this, I believe that would actually be expressed by 'books of Mormon' (the b in books not capitalized), and Books of Mormon would indeed refer to multiple copies of the Book of Mormon.
But then (as my grammar challenger also pointed out), plurals of book titles involving 'of' in the title are pluralized by adding an 's' to the end of the entire title. For example: "I have two Merchant of Venices" (definitely more awkward than saying 'I have two copies of the Merchant of Venice," but perhaps grammatically correct nonetheless?). To say "I have two merchants of Venice" is wrong (humans possessing humans? We were done with that a long time ago) because it refers directly to merchants - not a book about them - and to say "I have two Merchants of Venice"....no.
- Liberty 5-3000
I resent the implication that I may or may not be a grammar snob. Despite your snide remarks, though, I still say the proper plural is, indeed "Books of Mormon," but I probably usually say "Book of Mormons." So maybe I'm only half a snob?
This is no doubt in the archives somewhere, but it's faster to just answer it. The plural is 2 copies of the Book of Mormon. This removes all ambiguity. Yes, it's long and cumbersome, but I'm willing to bet you say 2 pairs of pants instead of 2 pantses.
In Welsh, it's Llyfrau Mormon - Books of Mormon.
See also Board Question #21353.
- the librarian