Author
ulillillia
Posts: 362
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Plural of staff - is it staffs or staves

Wizards use them to enhance their magic powers - a staff.  My question is, what is the correct plural form of the word "staff"?  Normally, if a word ends in an "F" like "leaf", you change the "F" to a "V" and add "es", making "leaf" become "leaves".  I otherwise don't see "stafves" though I see a near-even mix of both "staves" and "staffs".  Which is the correct plural of "staff" or is that one of those odd cases where both are equally correct?

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Author
finance4youth
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Plural of staff - is it staffs or staves

Not a wizard myself, I've always seen them grouped together as "staves".

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Author
tony_hawken
Posts: 688
Registered: ‎03-18-2010

Re: Plural of staff - is it staffs or staves

Staves if the staff is a type of rod or stick, Staffs is you are thinking of the plural of a member of staff or employee.

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Publisher
Faith Carroll
Posts: 493
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Plural of staff - is it staffs or staves

From Wikipedia:

 "The plural form of staff was originally staves (compare wolf, wolves and knife, knives), and in British and International English this is still preferred. In American English the usual plural form has become staffs, except in fantasy literature. The old English plural form staves collectively describes the wooden sticks bound by iron hoops to form traditional wooden barrels."

Also, here's the link from Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/staff

Hope this helps!

Faith

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Author
ulillillia
Posts: 362
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Plural of staff - is it staffs or staves

I'm referring to the rod or stick type, the kind wizards use.  Thanks for response and clearing this up.

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