Accidental Plurals

Please pass the salt.”

The word please is in every English speaker’s vocabulary from the time he is able to speak. The word please opens doors. It increases the likelihood that a request will be granted. It indicates good manners and good upbringing (so important in the South where I am living!).

But why is there a silent final E at the end?!

While the spelling of please probably hasn’t kept you up at night, it is interesting to learn why the silent final E is needed.

In school, we were taught that the silent final E makes the vowel say its name. This is not the case here, as EA does just fine by itself to say long E.

The silent final E is there to prevent an accidental plural. You know the word plea, as in a request or petition. If you mean more than one, simply add an S to make pleas. If you mean the “magic word,” add an E. It’s the same with other words such as tea/teas/tease.

Please share other words with silent final E’s that prevent accidental plurals in the comments below!