0

Checking Oxford and MacMillan dictionaries, "ignorance" is listed as a mass noun. The same in the Cambridge dictionary. However, there is a sentence from the Cambridge English Corpus:

Is this merely anodyne or does it reflect an ignorance of the medieval equity jurisdictions ?

Also, when I google "an ignorance", I get quite a lot of hits in various documents etc. Is that a mistake? As no dictionary I consulted allow this to be used in singular.

4

If you have an uncountable noun like sugar, you can refer to a particular type of sugar using the indefinite article:

fructose is a sugar

In your sentence, an ignorance refers to a particular type of ignorance- that of "the medieval equity jurisdictions".

This is different to ignorance in general which, as an uncountable noun, does not require an article, as in the proverb

ignorance is bliss

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.