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The headline reason for this post is to ask for Each other’s work or each other’s works? to be reopened, but if possible I'd also like to know why it was closed.

I find it hard to believe "lack of research" could meaningfully be cited as a closevote reason. I personally was quite surprised to discover from NGrams that even with the more straightforward context They touched each other's nose/s, the plural is preferred (where I would probably have gone for singular nose).

But the actual context cited by OP was far more complicated, given that He's a great artist! I really like his work/s carries almost exactly the same sense regardless of the plurality, whereas it would be nonsensical to say She's got a great face for a model! I really like her noses!

Also note that I don't think my comments under the question really explain much. Since I personally would use singular in both cases anyway, I'm probably not the best person to explain why most people don't do the same as me!

2 Answers 2

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It was closed for lack of evidence of research, and even reveiewed:

The community reviewed whether to reopen this question 12 hours ago and left it closed:

  • Original close reason(s) were not resolved

The original close reason still hasn't been resolved, so the question is closed again.

Perhaps you could improve the question by including your Ngram research. In fact your question here would be a good addition to the other one, with a link to the Ngram included.

I personally was quite surprised to discover from NGrams that even with the more straightforward context They touched each other's nose/s, the plural is preferred (where I would probably have gone for singular nose).

But the actual context cited by OP was far more complicated, given that He's a great artist! I really like his work/s carries almost exactly the same sense regardless of the plurality, whereas it would be nonsensical to say She's got a great face for a model! I really like her noses!

You've done the research. Fix the question!

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I can normally find a redeeming feature in the meagrest of questions, enough to usually keep the question open. Not here, though.

The each other component of the question is a red herring. The uncountable noun work and the countable noun work can be used more or less interchangeably when referring to the creative output of an individual. Thus either of the following is fine:

  • I like all of Van Gough's work.
  • I like all of Van Gough's works.

There are umpteen questions about interchangeable countable and uncountable versions of different nouns on the site. And if not, this really does belong on ELL.

What might be a question, is what would happen if the noun involved was a clear count noun. In other words if it was a noun like nose. However, it isn't1.


1 Or wasn't when this answer was originally posted.

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  • I don't think the original OP was ever concerned with the "general" dichotomy concerning work/works. Besides, the question has been changed to use nose/noses and reopened. I always took it for granted the OP was asking about which plurality to use with each other's [whatever], which was the reason for me commenting on it in the first place. And I still have no understanding as to why NGrams tells me the vast majority of writers use the plural when each party only touches the other's single nose. It's not really a "countable / uncountable noun" issue at all. Jun 9, 2023 at 10:28
  • @FumbleFingers With the mismatch between the work in the title and the nose in the body, which Andrew apparently took to be a downgrading of the question, it was mod-hammered and is closed again. I agree, it shouldn't be a countable/uncountable issue, but with the noun work it is - and the other-bit doesn't even come in to play. Maybe you should handle a re-edit? I'll vote to reopen if you do. Jun 9, 2023 at 10:39
  • @FumbleFingers To make my original objection clearer, imagine if the OP used the noun sheep. Jun 9, 2023 at 10:41
  • I think the "dual plurality" of sheep is even less relevant that the demonstrably irrelevant artist's work/works. Why do two people, each touching the other's single nose, switch plurality when they're touching each other's noses? But we shouldn't really be discussing this here at all. (That's what the actual question should be for! :) Jun 9, 2023 at 11:28
  • It looks like one or more mods have just decided they don't like the question full stop. Twice they've closed it after the question text itself was switched from pointlessly confusing work to nose, when it would have been just as easy to change that word in the title and let it stand. Jun 9, 2023 at 11:33

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