The Power of One, Measly Letter

Nov 10, 2003

RAY: I have written on a piece of paper in front of me, a word that is plural and also masculine. Now, I know we don't have masculine and feminine words in English the way we do in Italian or French. But, we do have words that connote masculinity. For example, the word "boys" is a plural word that connotes masculinity.

TOM: And a city in Idaho.

RAY: That too. The word I have written here is like "boys." It's masculine, and ends in "s." Now, I'm going to ask you to change this word from plural to singular and from masculine to feminine, all by adding a letter to it.

You're going to add this letter, which is "s," to the end of the word. That's going to change it from masculine to feminine, and plural to singular.

TOM: Wow, I like this puzzler. It's diabolical!

RAY: I spent last night reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary, and I only found one example for which this works.

Think you know what the word is?


TOM: The word that came to mind, but I don't think it works, is princes.

RAY: That's exactly right. Let's hear a drum roll! As far as I know that is the only word that works.

TOM: It just came to me.

RAY: Is it bogus?

TOM: How could it be bogus? It's got to be brilliant.

RAY: So who's our winner?

TOM: The winner is Pete Karltulk. That's the show that comes on after us, starring Carl Kassell, I think.

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