No plural name?

I need to print out the plural name of a thing sometimes for my Multitudes extension. I was surprised to learn that when I invoked the “printing the plural name” activity on my test case, it printed nothing at all. Is that normal behavior? Are things that might be plural always expected to set their own plural name? I’m surprised that a built-in activity like that would print nothing at all, and I wondered if I was doing something wrong…

And if that really is normal behavior, is there some way to check whether something has a printed plural name property so I can fudge it by adding an “s” to the singular name? Why isn’t that part of the Standard Library?

The default behavior of the “printing the plural name activity” is to print the plural of the object’s kind. (“People”, “containers”, “supporters”, etc.)

However, it looks like the thing kind does not have “things” defined as its plural. This is a bug, although it probably only comes up in contrived circumstances. For example, if you do

Ten things are in the Kitchen.

You get

You can see ten  here.

You can work around this by adding

The printed plural name of a thing is usually "things".

However, you presumably want the name of the thing itself, pluralized, rather than the name of its kind. I7 can’t do this at runtime.

That makes sense. Should I report that?

I can get around this pretty easily:

For printing the plural name of a multitudinous thing when the printed plural name of the item described is empty (this is the default pluralization of specimens rule): say "[item described]s";

Overall, I’ve been very happy with how easy it is to use an adjective to create a “mixin class.”

English plurals are not quite that reliable. Sometimes you need s, sometimes you need es, sometimes (as with fish) you need neither … and then of course there are children and oxen. In an actual game, you may be better off making sure that all of your multitudinous things have actual printed plural names, defined in the code.


I reported it.

Of course, and I will say so in the extension documentation. I don’t expect many games to have more than a handful of multitude/specimen pairs, so it should never get unmanageable. I’ve also made it easy to override without writing your own printing the plural name rule - it still recognizes the printed plural name property.