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Roof vs. Rooves

September 23, 2009

So, I was just writing a scene where Our Heroine happens to be on a high balcony and she can see the tops of many buildings below her. And then Word wanted me to change “rooves.” Aware that Word Spellchecker has the IQ of retarded lettuce, I went to the dictionary. No entry. I turned to Google, and there the Urban Dictionary gave the definition as:

The plural of “roof,” for people too dumb to know that the real word is “roofs.”

Whatever happened to poor old “rooves?”

I mean, the plural of loaf is loaves, dwarf is dwarves, and chief is chives. Okay, maybe not on that last one. But I’m sorry to see poor, downtrodden rooves, the way I’ve been pronouncing it all my life, get smacked around like that.

Also, Google helpfully suggested two searches that may be related to rooves: “pituitary gland” and “anaconda.” What the heck?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Larry A. Taylor permalink
    January 1, 2010 7:23 PM

    Actually, the preferred plural of “dwarf” is “dwarfs.”

    Tolkien, a professor of English back into misty history, probably knew better, but just liked “dwarves.”

    Disney’s 1937 movie, however, was “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”


  2. March 7, 2010 8:01 AM

    I’m having exactly the same problem, writing a page about how kids can color in a castle. “The tower roo…” now, should that be rooves (which I am sure is how I’ve always said it, being a Brit, if that is relevant) or roofs, which just doesn’t sound right!

    So having just consulted my Chambers dictionary, I have to admit that “rooves” doesn’t appear anywhere. You’re right – something happened to this word, because I’m sure it used to exist… in my galaxy, far far away!

    I’m also a “dwarves” person myself. And happy to report that “dwarves” comes up as a rare variant to the obviously more popular “dwarfs”. And yes, I am putting my full stop after the quotation mark (as I call it) there !!

    Language is fun and fascinating isn’t it! But it don’ ‘alf drive you round the bend at times!

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