Talk:gummy

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gummy[edit]

Previously tagged, not listed. I thought the previous discussion concluded that this is in widespread use, in the US. --Connel MacKenzie 19:06, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Struck. bd2412 T 19:56, 29 March 2007 (UTC)


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gummy[edit]

I know that everyone agrees that gummies are a type of candy, as has been brought up here before, but being one of the oldest tagged RFV's I wanted to eliminate it with certainty. And I would hope I have a reputation of being pretty thorough in my searches. That said I could find only one good citation of the singular for this sense, plus one lousy one (why not?) and maybe this one (use-mention?) from authors with pseudonyms.

In searching I have run across many types of gummy candies. Besides "gummy bear" these include, from memory, worm, snake, spider, bug, frog, fish, shark, dinosaur, fruit, booger, and yes, even "gummy penis", all edible, not to mention "gummy sweet" etc. And those are just the Google Book hits. So don't say I haven't done my homework. Or rather, your homework in this case.

Certainly the term is verifiable in the plural, in fact easily so. But there just isn't all that much for just one gummy, so to speak. By our rules, doesn't that mean it should be struck? DAVilla 22:46, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, should the "content" be moved first to gummy bear, gummy worm, gummy snake, gummy car, gummy spider, etc., first? (You are saying "gummy" is never used on its own, right? I guess can believe that.)
Is gummies marked as pluralia tantum then? Should it be? --Connel MacKenzie 23:06, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
My opinion on this matter isn't based on our current policies. I think it's pretty darned obvious that if gummies are candies used in the plural then there would naturally be a singular form. In fact none of the links you've highlighted could be idiomatic unless they mean candies in other shapes than the one indicated (as I believe "gummy bear" and "gummy worm" would; that those two are set phrases is also supported by the different intonation pattern). Otherwise we would have to say that the word gummy in this sense is only used attributively OR in the plural, never in the singular just by itself, which is a very awkward position to be in, and despite a poor show in attestation, one that we all know isn't true. DAVilla 14:02, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Here are my thoughts. Crisps ("chips" in the US) are sold in packets of more than one, so "crisps" is arguably the more common form. However, "Would you like a crisp?" shows that the singular certainly exists. I think the same argument probably applies to gummies (I think these are what we call them jelly babies in the UK), so "gummy" would be legit.
Now, as for which should be the main entry and cross-reference the other, there are two approaches for "crisp(s)":
  • "Crisps" is the more common form, so list under "crisps" and cross-refer the singular to the plural.
  • Put under "crisp" and make "crisps" one of our usual optional "plural of..." articles.
For the record, the OED does the latter. I think doing the same would make sense with "gummy", unless "gummies" is or was originally a brand name (compare "Pringles", etc), in which case that must be the main article. I know next to nothing about these sweets (sorry, this candy ;) ) so my comments might not apply. — Paul G 18:28, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
(Sweet is not chiefly British.)
More awkward is Cracker Jack, which is often used in the plural.
If you agree that it's pretty obvious, then I'd like to strike this by formulating a basic rule: regular inflection attested (the plural in this case), attested spelling for similar meaning (attributive in this case). DAVilla 20:19, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
While sweet isn't specifically British, sweets mainly is (what we call candy and rarely, when trying to sound British, sweets.) "Cracker Jacks" (the common form) is trickier because the "correct" form (at least in the song) is "Cracker Jack" (pluralia tantum) but is most often errantly pronounced as "Cracker Jacks."
Anyhow, could you please rephrase your proposed basic rule so that I can understand it? I think I agree, but the wording is a bit obtuse. --Connel MacKenzie 20:04, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
  1. If the spelling of the term in question can be verified by some means (references, a similar meaning, etc.),
  2. If there is another form of the term that derives or is derived from active production rules,
  3. If that other form is attested by the usual criteria (three citations of use spanning a year that convey meaning), and
  4. If there are no attested irregular spellings for the term in question, then
  • The definition implied by the active production rules can be assumed legitimate and does not need to be attested. 15:21, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Is there some reason we can't just say "(usually with "bear")" on the noun definition line? That of course, is the rub; that sometimes the word is used alone, but sheesh, this is quite impossible to verify. Worse still, is that the definition given is precisely that - a single gummy bear (or other.) Searches that manage to exclude the adjective, don't exclude the normal "gummy bear" form; searches without "bear" return adjectival uses. The normal English rules of omission imply that in context it ("bear" or "worm" etc.) can be dropped, leaving an implied subject. But you and I know that the term is used alone, much more frequently than that. In spoken English, "gummy" might even be more common than "gummy bear". [1] What's the official English language rule for when objects can be abbreviated or omitted? --Connel MacKenzie 14:44, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
This seems to be clearly in widespread use, despite the citation-searching-frustrations. Can this rfv tag be removed yet? --Connel MacKenzie 11:13, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

The arguments made here aren't convincing me; I see three possibilities that are consistent with the facts presented here:

  1. Gummies is a normal plurale tantum (a word used only in the plural), but with the singular-looking attributive form gummy. (This is analogous to pants, which in the attributive form pant in phrases like pant leg — though many speakers do say pants leg.)
  2. Gummy is an adjective, with the derived plurale tantum gummies. (This is analogous to black; you can say "She's a black person", and "She'd met only a handful of blacks before moving here", but never *"She's a black." It's distinguishable from the previous case in that normal pluralia tantum can't generally be used with numbers — you can't say *"three hundred pants" — but the adjective-derived ones can — "three hundred blacks" is fine.)
  3. Gummy is a singular noun, often used attributively, with gummies its plural.

(Let me know if I've misrepresented one of these possibilities, or if there's a fourth one I'm missing.)

If y'all are certain that possibility 3 is the case, then fine, we can go with that, and mark this RFV passed despite the suspicious lack of non-attributive citations.

Otherwise, I think we should stay on the safe side and assume that possibilities 1 and 2 are the case, with gummy housing the adjective sense (with gummies given as a derived term), and a noun sense that reads "Gummies; only used attributively", or something like that, and gummies housing the actual noun definitions.

RuakhTALK 17:36, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the "chips" comparison above, how about these two examples: "Eating a large handful of buttered popcorn, I noticed one of her gummies had fallen into the popcorn bucket." "Eating a large handful of buttered popcorn I noticed her gummy had fallen into the popcorn bucket." The second example really doesn't make sense...I don't see a way to recast that sentence so that it does, while still using "gummy" without a type modifier (bear, worm, snake, etc.) I think this really is pluralia tantum. --Connel MacKenzie 04:10, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
How would we know the difference between 1 and 2? DAVilla 13:10, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Properly speaking, you could tell the difference by the existence or not of non-attributive use of gummy. If people say "Those gummies are a bit too gummy — I left them in the car when it was hot out", that's using "gummy" as an adjective. Conversely, if they say "Those gummies are a bit too gummy-ish", that's forming a new adjective, apparently to compensate for a lack of a true adjective "gummy". Nonetheless, I don't think it's worth worrying about; I'm fairly confident that there are speakers in both categories, who don't even consciously know what category they're in, and would only find out in the rare case that they needed a real adjective. (Indeed, there are probably speakers who straddle the line, and would feel equally comfortable-​but-​not with either version.) Hence the suggestion at the end of my comment above: assume that 1 and 2 are both the case and add definitions accordingly, but that 3 is not. —RuakhTALK 15:04, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Attributive only. Struck. DAVilla 16:11, 3 September 2007 (UTC)