The other day, while going through The Ghost and the Christmas Spirit after it came back from the editor, I kept finding places where the “s” had been left off reindeers. You know…plural, more than one reindeer.
Before you laugh at me, let me say I was fully aware that deer is used if I am talking about one deer or a hundred deer. But for some reason, reindeers sounded right to me.
After coming across the second reindeer with a missing s, it suddenly dawned on me—my editor changed these! Why?
A quick Google confirmed what I was beginning to suspect, reindeer, like deer, is used for one or eight tiny reindeer. Although in my defense, Clement Clarke Moore writes it “rein-deer,” as opposed to reindeer. Which in my convoluted mind, is some sort of excuse for my obvious denseness.
When Googling reindeers, I came across one page where it claimed the misused reindeers as plural has resulted in some dictionaries including it as an option. And I did find a couple off-beat dictionary sites where it listed both reindeer and reindeers as plural. It didn’t make me feel any better—still felt rather lame. Another reason why I really do need my editor.