Linen, Union and Toastmasters


What do these 3 words have in common?


Linen, the Union and Toastmasters

  1. They are nouns.
  2. They are a collection of things/persons.
  3. They are plural predicate/collective nouns.

especially if the meaning of the words are as follows:

  • Linen – a collection of clothing in a basket, normally thrown together ready for washing.
  • The Union – an organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members’ interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions to management. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
  • Toastmasters – a club of members of Toastmasters International. Their purpose for joining is to upgrade their leadership and public speaking skills.

Notice that the word Toastmasters is the odd one out. Why?

We can refer to one person in a Toastmasters Club as a Toastmaster.  When the plural form is utilised i.e. when we refer to more than one Toastmaster, Toastmasters (with the ‘s‘) is utilised.

However, the singular term for Linen is a shirt or a blouse. So the same with Union. The person belonging to the association is a member (of the Union).


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