Make Your Editor Cry: Beef (Awkward Plural)

Make Your Editor Cry:  Beef (Awkward Plural)

BLUF: (Bottom Line Up Front)
Beef in terms of meat is a mass noun. It has no plural form.

beef: the flesh of adult cattle such as a bull, steer, or cow of oxen, bovine, or bison used as food

In the sense of animal flesh, beef is a mass noun and has no plural form. Therefore, in that sense, the word “beefs” is not a thing, and “beeves” is considered archaic and therefore also, you know, not a thing.

Examples:

Beef is the third most widely consumed meat in the world.
Beef can be cooked to various degrees, from very rare to well done.

However, in terms of a complaint, dispute, disagreement, or argument you can certainly have more than one beef. You can have as many beefs as you want.

Q: Do you have beef with the new reporting structure?
A: Not exactly. I have multiple beefs with the new reporting structure.

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