Home

One of my workshop participants asked me if the term peoples is correct.

My answer: It can be.

The term people (without the s) is already plural when referring to human beings in general or collectively. It is an aggregate noun.

The New Oxford American Dictionary states that the term peoples (with the s) refers to the men, women, and children of a particular nation, community or ethnic group. Merriam Webster defines peoples as “a body of persons that are united by a common culture, tradition, or sense of kinship, that typically have common language, institutions, and beliefs, and that often constitute a politically organized group.” Learner’s Dictionary provides a shorter explanation: “a group of people who make up a race, tribe, nation, etc.”

Advertisements

One thought on “Peoples?

  1. Pingback: Persons vs. people: Redux | Using a Borrowed Language

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s