Rantings of a sub-editor

March 18, 2010

Is cod a species or a specie?

Filed under: species/specie,word choice — substuff @ 4:01 pm

That was the question the fresh desk threw at the subs desk amid the sweat and blood of press day. The senior reporter had been admonished at a fishy convention for using the word ‘species’ in the singular.

Having always used ‘species’ for both singular and plural uses, I began to sweat/glow slightly from the palms at this question. But the OED’s response warmed my subby little heart.

Not only were the fresh desk and the subs desk victorious in their rightness (I was right, right, RIGHT I tell you), but the fish man was wrong. Terribly wrong. Mwah ha haaaa.

(mass noun)
money in the form of coins rather than notes

noun (pl same)
a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding

So unless we are talking about cod coins, we’ll stick with ‘species’ thank you ever so.


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