Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Pepperoni

Is the word pepperoni singular or plural? Or both?

I admit that I didn't know before I tried to write about a pair of pepperoni pizzas that were appointed to be a frog's marketing team. It makes more sense if you've heard about Amazon's 2-Pizza Teams. Or maybe it makes less sense.

But anyway, it turns out that our American word pepperoni is just how we messed up peperoni, which is the plural of an Italian word for a bell pepper. I don't really know how that happened, since most people think of spicy meat (but from what animal?) when they think of pepperoni - not sweet peppers. So is it plural then? Not really...

The general consensus is that pepperoni is plural only when you're actually saying peperoni and you're speaking Italian. When you're speaking American English about the zesty red circles on your pizza, it is singular. It's pretty much a totally different thing, even though it probably sounds the same. Hey, it's not the first word we've hijacked.

This means that I wrote pepperonis when referring to more than one of them. Even though that looks weird. Lots of words look weird when you write them down I guess. Like vacuum. And bologna. And phlegm.

Amphibian.com comic for 19 November 2014