Dear 100 Hour Board,
Here's a quick two-part question for you.
Part 1: What comes to your mind first to fill in the blank in the following conversation?
Your friend: "This morning, I saw a quail! It was so cute."
You: "That's nice and all, but I saw 6 ________ this morning. Ha! I've got you beat."
Part 2: If the word that first came to mind wasn't 'quail' or 'quails', which plural form do you use? Or do you have some whack-a-doodle system where you use the two in different situations, like explained here?
I had always used 'quails' and just recently somebody told me it's actually 'quail' - turns out both forms are found in most dictionaries and in common use. So what say you?
-Quizzical Quack Quickly Asking Quasi-Quirky Question Whilst in Quotidian Quailish Quandary
Chickens came to my mind, chickens came in a dream
The poultry did question "Birds dare ye to eat?
"So puzzled we birds are, oh rather Perplexed
To why people nosh us, not Worship instead
No new chicks on the block, we're the real Dinosaurs.
Ready? Quake ye and fear us, respect us, Adore.
Kentucky Fried Person is coming up soon!
So come, humans, Join us, to Serve Man,
Chickens are creepy.
--Ardilla Feroz, from Lagos, Nigeria
I'm pretty sure that both "baby quail" and "raccoons" popped into my mind simultaneously.
My thought was, "Quail. Wait, quails? Quail? Oh no, what's the correct form?!" I was really glad to finish reading your question and see that both forms are accepted.