Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: roof, n.

roof, n.
The plural is “roofs,” not *”rooves.” But the mistaken plural occurs with some frequency — e.g.:

o “But the view from the classroom (which his son uses to run a cramming school) is of rooves [read ‘roofs’] and television aerials, so the farmers’ cause seems already lost.” “The Last of the Left,” Economist, 4 Feb. 1995, at 32.

o “The birds scoured yards for food, roosted in eaves and pooped liberally on tile rooves [read ‘roofs’].” Susan M. Loux, “Dairy Pigeons Spot New Targets,” Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Cal.), 20 July 1996, at B1.

o “Now Violeta shows off snapshots of Puerto Rico that evoke dusty palm trees and hot clay rooves [read ‘roofs’] and heavy blue skies.” Diana Michele Yap, “‘Met Violeta, Liked Her a Lot,'” Providence J.-Bull., 10 Oct. 1996, at H8.

Language-Change Index — *”rooves” for “roofs”: Stage 2.

*Invariably inferior forms.


Quotation of the Day: “Words, like clothes, get old-fashioned, or mean and ridiculous, when they have been for some time laid aside.” William Hazlitt, “Table Talk” (1821-1822), in Classics in Composition 123, 126 (Donald E. Hayden ed., 1969).

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