a chicken nuggets meal

quietdandelion

Banned
Formosa/Chinese
Hank and Martha were at a fast food restaurant. Hank ordered a chicken nuggets meal with extra ketchup.


For me, it should be "a chicken nugget meal" because "chicken nugget" serves as a compound adjective here. The similar case is that Mary is a five year old girl. Which will you use here, nugget or nuggets? Thanks.
 
  • quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, Trentina.
    I know it sounds right to you, but it's against a gramma rule. That is, although "Mary is a five year old girl," we still use the singular form "year" here. It's because "five year old" serves as a compound adjective. Is grammar changing or something? If my students ask me this question, I'll be definitely speechless.
     

    Daedalus

    New Member
    Ireland
    Well English has a lot of irregularities when it comes to grammar, I'd say MacDonald's (being such a huge, mulit-national corperation) are allowed create their own ;)
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I guess it depends which restaurant you go to - I found examples of both on Google.

    It made me think of matzoh ball soup, which I've only seen with 1 giant matzoh ball (not multiple). It seems like a "chicken nugget" meal would have 1 giant nugget. I guess I need to stay away from the drive-in windows ;)
     

    AWordLover

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi,

    Reading this thread made me quite hungry. I dashed out to buy some chicken nuggets. When I ordered my meal they asked me how many nuggets I wanted. I ordered the eight chicken nugget meal. I got the meal to go.

    At home I supplimented the nuggets with two bowls of soup. The first was matzah ball soup, and I put in three matzah balls (because they are delicious) and I snagged one of the rare big pieces of carrot. The second serving of soup consisted of split-pea soup (because pea is singular I only got one pea :().

    I think the rule qd mentioned is excellent, but I'm rather stuffed after digesting the information here.
     

    idialegre

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi,

    The second serving of soup consisted of split-pea soup (because pea is singular I only got one pea :().

    Considering it was split-pea soup, you should be happy you didn't get half a pea.

    I would say "a meal of chicken nuggets." "A chicken nuggets meal" sounds to me like pure commercialese. One would not say, by comparison, "a lamb chops meal" or "a Swedish meatballs meal." Nor would one say " a lamb chop meal" or "a Swedish meatball meal," but rather, "a meal of lambchops" or "a meal of Swedish meatballs."
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    I agree with idialegre - you don't need to say "meal", rather, "I'll take the chicken nuggets".

    AWordLover, your post was quite amusing (or should I say quite filling?) :D



    ! Just don't say "I'm stuffed" after eating a meal with German speaking friends - it has a totally different connotation - nothing to do with food, but to do with carnal pleasures ;) [or is it carnal pleasure?]
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    "A chicken nuggets meal" sounds to me like pure commercialese.
    Well, it pretty much is. ;) "Meal" probably differentiates it from merely "chicken nuggets":

    Chicken nuggets ==> a box with six small pieces of breaded chicken.
    Chicken nuggets meal ==> the above plus fries and a soft drink or milk.

    Because of the commercial ties, I think it is qualitatively different from a true compound adjective like "five-year-old" girl.

    Elisabetta
     

    palomnik

    Senior Member
    English
    My read on it is this:

    Chicken Nugget Meal = a meal that consists of Chicken Nuggets.
    Chicken Nuggets Meal = a meal that is called "Chicken Nuggets."

    I'd say that there's grammatical room for both forms.
     
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