Dear Susan: Pesky Plurals
When listening to dictation, what do I do when I can’t hear a term well enough to decide if it should be singular or plural? For example, bruit/bruits always trips me up, as do abnormality/abnormalities and mass/masses.
The rule about using an ‘s’ or not depends upon the verb in the sentence. For example:
No ____ are noted—this would need to be bruits because of the plural verb “are.”
No ____ is noted—this would need to be abnormality because of the singular verb “is.”
No ____ palpated—this could be either mass or masses because there is no verb in the sentence.