Illuminatus gives the answer:Hi everybody,
so... a friend of mine just said: "I have a master degree in literature and writing and all I do is write email and status updates on my facebook page".
Wouldn't it be more logical to use the plural here like I would do
if I used the word "letters", "communications" or whatever else?
(Note that Illuminatus uses the term "collective noun" for 'email' but it is an "uncountable/mass noun." A "collective noun" describes a group of items, not all items: herd of cows, flock of geese, pack of dogs, etc.)But, e-mail can also be used a uncountable/mass noun as in the collection of all e-mails
In July, 70% of the e-mail I received was spam.
No. The plural is not greater than the uncountable.Thank you very much PaulQ, but I guess that doesn't really answer my question, does it?
My question was: given the fact that email can be both used as countable and uncountable noun, as both Panjandrum and Illuminatus very clearly explained, wouldn't it be a more logical choice to use email as a countable name in a sentence where had I to use any other nouns, I would use a plural and where the point of the sentence itself is somewhat stressing the idea of a large quantity of emails?
Your friend is expressing the idea he has written a large quantity of email rather than a large number of emails. He hasn't been actually counting them. If there were an uncountable form of "status update," he might have used that as well.so... a friend of mine just said: "I have a master degree in literature and writing and all I do is write email and status updates on my facebook page".