water cannon


Poland Polish
I have just come across a sentence in one of the articles from www.telegraph.co.uk. Here it is:

'Police could use water cannon to disperse rioters, Theresa May says ...'

My question is about the use of the word 'water cannon'. Why is it used without any article. A water cannon is a machine - a countable noun.

I have found further examples on www.timesonline.co.uk

'Scotland Yard is to review its policing of violent demonstrations after the G20 protests to see if London needs harsher, European-style methods that could include the use of water cannon.'
  • mick1977

    Poland Polish
    Why haven't I thought of this myself? I've just checked the dictionary entry for the word cannon and it turns out that the plural form can be either 'cannon' or 'cannons' :)
    Thanks a lot Einstein.


    Senior Member
    British English
    I would note that this is quite common BE, especially news reporting.
    Not sure that I understand this, perhaps you could explain. Using cannon as the plural of cannon is just normal BE and nothing to do with news reporting.
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