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Rooves (and hooves) in the Northeast
Are the words rooves and hooves still in common usage anywhere?
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2013/03/11
8:59am
mattm
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I’m from Cape Cod, and all my life I’ve thought that the plural of roof is rooves. My wife is from the Midwest and thought this was plain wrong, but I did manage to locate some old dictionaries that contain an entry for rooves along with the pronunciation that I use (r-ooh-ves). I’m wondering whether anyone from the Northeast uses the same spelling and pronunciation, or if it is outdated everywhere in the United States. I have also always thought of the plural of hoof as hooves, and I’m pretty certain that I grew up hearing it this way. 

2013/03/11
10:17am
Glenn
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You are not going crazy. I remember rooves as well, but the regular plural is winning out.
Merriam-Webster online rooves

As for hoof and hooves, most dictionaries still list hooves as the plural with hoofs as an also-ran.

I also like shelf, shelves; elf, elves; self, selves; thief, thieves. But chief, chiefs.

2013/03/11
10:54am
Dick
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I feel like I’m in a time warp reading mattm say he found some old dictionaries with “rooves” and Glenn saying he remembers it. I never knew it changed. But I must honestly say that it is rare that I either speak or hear the plural of roof. It probably changed and I wasn’t listening.

2013/03/11
12:01pm
RobertB
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This is 1st time I’ve ever seen rooves.

2013/03/11
12:37pm
Glenn
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There is a continual pull for irregular forms to become regular. Some are well along the way to losing the irregular forms.
dwarf dwarfs / dwarves
index indexes / indices

You dursn’t blink even once. Blink, and a few more will pass the tipping point.

2013/03/11
12:46pm
mattm
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Now I know why I struggled with autocorrect on my original post. The old form is almost gone, and probably just a bit more common on the Cape for some reason. The odd thing is that I’ve probably seen the more common spelling all my life, but I continued to pronounce the older form. 

2013/03/11
1:50pm
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I guess there is Midwest (OH, IN, IL) and Midwest (Ozark hills, etc), and I, from the latter, use the irregular forms mentioned above.

Paul Harvey was from only about 200 miles away, but I could never get used to him “having proved” something. I am firmly located in the “have proven” camp.

And, my horse’s hooves are unshod.

2013/03/11
3:50pm
Glenn
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Notable exception: snuck is well on the road to supplant sneaked.

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