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English Word Question


fcgamer
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What do you call these?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you call one of these? (Singular?)

    • die
      19
    • dice
      7
    • dices
      0
    • other (please specify)
      0
  2. 2. What do you call more than one of these? (Plural)

    • die
      1
    • dice
      23
    • dices
      1
    • other (please specify)
      1


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Singular - Die

Plural - Dice

Background - Someone who took 5 years of Latin through middle/high school and can quote Julius Ceasar's famous quote, "The die has been cast" all these year later.  Also, brought up by parents who taught me the proper singular/plural terms for those items, had constant exposure to them as a very young child when my brother's weekly D&D sessions would come to our house, etc.

Edited by darkchylde28
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The singular is definitely die historically - supposedly that usage is changing  (as English is so wont to do) to include dice. 

The plural is more complex.

If you have a bunch of different  dice but only one of each type they could be referred to as dies (depends on the context a lot).  (Think of the really obscure but legitimate use of fishes here.)

There is also a somewhat (well very) obscure verbal usage of dices.  Example - he/she plays craps as a hobby could also be stated as he/she dices as a hobby.

To confuse matters even more if one "throws the dice" the action can refer to 100 of the cubes (or whatever shape they happen to be) or just one - it refers to the act of casting rather than the number so cast.

Your picture could be described as four dice or with a modifier to say a group of four dies (thereby describing each as a distinct singular entity although a plural is used).

The nuances are kind of mind boggling.

 

 

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Die/dice

Background: B.S. in German Translation (Applied Linguistics)

 

If there is historical precedent for dices (it’s certainly not a usage i can recall ever having heard actually used),I would say that this would be a situation where while dices and dice are both correct the usage dice is certainly the common and expected one.  I personally would not use dices as a noun because using it would raise so many questions and eyebrows.  

Dices is the verb of playing dice.  Dies could be used in a specialized context to refer to individual units within a groups of dice.

 Wait, why are we analyzing this?

Edit:  The gerund would be dicing?  Hmm.

Edited by Hammerfestus
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You posted a group of dice and asked what I would call one of those. I would call it dice. I would call multiple of those (multiple groups of dice) dices.

Background: Bachelor's degree in computer science with studies in language and I'm an author that has been published multiple times. Also I have Asperger's so I take very question exactly literally and I answer exactly literally.

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One die or two dice.  But I completely accept anyone who uses dice singularly because I think it sounds better (I sometimes use it that way).  I would never correct someone who uses it that way, and I would be fine if that ever becomes the officially accepted term.  

Edit:  Bachelor's degree in Accounting, but also took a lot of engineering and math classes (but no minor).

Edited by TDIRunner
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Singular: die

Plural: Dice

Profession/Background:  I took so many college classes that I got classified as a professional student.  I ended up with a BS in Civil Engineering so you can throw out any opinion I have on grammar or spelling.  I don't fit the stereo type of an engineer, I set the bar at the lowest possible level.  In my ACT testing, I got a score so low in Reading/English that they didn't even list what that score even means.  Pretty sure I would be mistaken as a person who English is a second/third language......it's not.

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