Isn't 'alphabet' plural?

I was taught that 'alphabet' is the right usage and not 'alphabets' (with an s at the end)

But the internet is very liberal about using the word 'alphabets', while m-w.com does not even recognize that as a word

Search for alphabets point to "alphabet"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alphabet...

Also, wiktionary.org seems to say that the plural for alphabet is alphabets

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/alphabet

Wikipedia uses the word 'alphabets' very liberally in its article about the alphabet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabet

Who is right? and what is the correct usage?

4 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A collection of letters make up the alphabet. So the English alphabet contains 26 letters.

    Most language has an alphabet, which contains 'n' number of letters. I think the only language which has more than one alphabet is Mandarin, though I'm not sure.

    So the 'common' usage of "alphabets" is WRONG.

    @ Brisco - I would say, "I know two languages".

    Fyi - I know 3 languages !

  • 1 decade ago

    There are different alphabets, and "alphabet" is a count noun, so you have one alphabet or multiple alphabets. We usually say "the alphabet" when we are talking about the one used in our native language, but it is really only one of the various alphabets in existence.

    Rebecca Haden, The Education Station

    http://www.educationstationteachers.org/

  • 1 decade ago

    Alphabet is definitely a singular noun. I have heard my college professors in Linguistics and English Language use the term "alphabets" on numerous occasions.

  • 1 decade ago

    There's the English alphabet, the Spanish alphabet, the Chinese alphabet, and many, many more alphabets.

    I learned the English alphabet in kindergarten and the Spanish alphabet in high school. So I know two alphabets. You wouldn't say, "I know two alphabet," would you?

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