Today’s pressing question was, what is the plural of “Bluetooth”? I’ll spare you the pain of looking it up for yourself (although you would have a lot of fun doing it). The real answer is, there isn’t one. If you absolutely demand a plural, the answer is “Bluetooth devices”. Bluetooth is a kind of technology. Thus you can have a Bluetooth ear bud, a Bluetooth headset, etc. In essence, Bluetooth is an adjective.
So, can an adjective have a plural? I don’t know why not. We’ve turned the brand name “Kleenex” into a plural. We’ve turned the brand names Fed Ex and Google into verbs. Why can’t we make an adjective into a plural? No wonder the OED people go nuts about what they should and should not include in their revised editions.
There are two schools of thought there. One of them is that the OED should be a guide to speaking “proper” English. Oh no. Please don’t act like you’re from France.
The other school of thought is that a dictionary should help people understand the language as it is actually used. So, for example, if you are from Kuwait, and you want to understand what FYI or OMG means, you should be able to look it up in the dictionary. Hello? Duh.
All languages are fluid, and change with usage by actual people who use that language, unless you live in France where they haven’t quite grasped that concept.
The occasion for this thought was that yesterday I had a visit from a pest control person who was wearing a Bluetooth device on his ear. I hate that. I never wear mine at work, and I forbid my employees from doing so. Because we are in the customer service biz, and to me, Bluetooth looks like you are just waiting for something more interesting to happen. My corporate office has not caught up to this yet, and they need to. The wheels of corporate HR departments turn slowly. It took them about 10 years to remove the prohibition against male employees wearing earrings from the employee handbook. I used to get dinged for this regularly by my bosses, and I would say, I’m not enforcing that. It’s discriminatory. You just have to be patient enough for HR to get there too. And try not to get fired before that happens.
But back to Bluetooth devices. Morris the pest control guy was wearing one, and he at some point in the middle of a conversation said “Answer”. I was so startled, because I couldn’t figure out what “Answer” had to do with our discussion. Okay, then I remembered. The difference between me and my employees wearing a Bluetooth is that Morris travels around all day in his little yellow truck. He needs to be in touch with his office and his customers. I’m okay with that.
He talked to his office about scheduling rodent proofing for our problematic storage room. Rodents meaning rats, mice, and squirrels. And they called him back a few times.
We caught a mouse in the storage room. OMG. Stop the presses.