The Plural of Roof

I recently received a rather offensive message from someone called Jimbo. Jimbo had nothing to say about the revelations that Cassidy had no degrees or the huge volume of evidence presented here that his book is fictional nonsense. Jimbo suggested that I am less educated than I claim to be because, apparently, I can’t spell the plural of roof.

According to Jimbo, the plural of roof is roofs, always and in every dialect of English. He sent me a couple of links to ‘prove’ this, though apparently he didn’t read them very carefully, as the comments on them confirm that outside of the States, rooves is an acceptable and quite common spelling among educated people. A search for phrases like ‘thatched rooves’ or ‘tiled rooves’ on Google turns up lots of perfectly well-written material from outside the States and the OED also sanctions it, saying that it is an acceptable variant in the UK. (It’s also used a lot in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, judging by the comments.)

So, Jimbo is not right about this. Roofs may be the most common spelling but it’s not the only version. And even if rooves were incorrect, it wouldn’t bother me greatly. I use English less than half the time and I have never claimed to be omniscient. I make mistakes and when I do, I admit them. However, I suspect that Jimbo is not really that concerned with my English spelling.

I am not saying that Jimbo is a sockpuppet for Sean Sweeney, the childish, tiresome little numpty who keeps posting here and elsewhere in defence of Daniel Cassidy’s indefensible book without clarifying what his relationship with Cassidy was. No, Jimbo is probably not Sweeney. I am sure there are hundreds of thousands of people whose twin obsessions are defending Daniel Cassidy’s reputation and taking the New York Citi Bike scheme to task for the siting of its ranks in Soho.

However, if it should turn out that Jimbo and Sean Sweeney are one and the same, it would demonstrate beautifully that he is incapable of providing any defence for Cassidy or his ideas, because if all he can do is question my non-American spelling of rooves, then it’s quite obvious that he can’t find even a tiny shred of evidence that Cassidy got it right about anything. And instead of accepting that and publicly admitting that he got it wrong, he is still trying to snipe at people who are telling the truth because it isn’t the truth he wants to hear. Which would make him a pretty sad and pathetic character, wouldn’t it?

However, I’m sure Jimbo isn’t Sweeney. I mean … surely nobody is that sad and pathetic …


2 thoughts on “The Plural of Roof

  1. astraya

    I recently encountered ‘roofs’ in a document I was editing and the word processor program underlined it. I changed it to ‘rooves’ and it underlined that as well, so I changed it back to ‘roofs’. WordPress’s comment box allows ‘roofs’ but underlines rooves.

  2. Debunker Post author

    Hi, Unsurprising really, because it is obviously the only form in the States. Outside of the States, it seems to be a much more mixed bag, though roofs is still dominant. I myself would never pronounce the word as roofs. I would only ever say rooves, so it just looks wrong to me when I see roofs, whatever the mavens say.


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