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misfortune vs misfortunes Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 1:58:31 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 7,501
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The world will become like the times of Fuxi and Shennong. The people will be able to drive away disasters and misfortune and gain the ability to live long lives.

Shouldn't it be "misfortunes" instead, as the preceding word is "disasters"?

Thanks.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 2:05:50 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 16,672
Neurons: 80,501
Koh Elaine wrote:
The world will become like the times of Fuxi and Shennong. The people will be able to drive away disasters and misfortune and gain the ability to live long lives.

Shouldn't it be "misfortunes" instead, as the preceding word is "disasters"?

Thanks.

It depends on which kind of misfortune the writer has in mind. Misfortune itself is simply bad luck or a state of bad condition. However, you can also have a series of misfortunes, individual occurrences. That said, since disasters have been made plural, it would make sense to make misfortunes plural also.
sureshot
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 1:48:38 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 3,146
Neurons: 495,757
Koh Elaine wrote:
The world will become like the times of Fuxi and Shennong. The people will be able to drive away disasters and misfortune and gain the ability to live long lives.

Shouldn't it be "misfortunes" instead, as the preceding word is "disasters"?

Thanks.

_________________

The sense of the sentence is plural. People is a plural word. The use of plural "disasters" implies that the writer is talking about several calamitous events bringing great damage, loss, or destruction. So, the use of plural "misfortunes" appears natural. "Misfortunes" refers to several distressing or unfortunate incidents or events. This sense merges with the plural sense of "disasters". It is most unlikely to talk about singular "misfortune" when several disasters occur.
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