Can both scaffold and scaffolding be used about the scaffold/scaffolding as a whole an not just the platforms? And the same with the platforms? I'm only interested in the American definition of it.

He climbed up the scaffold/scaffolding.

Afraid to fall down, the man lay flat on the scaffold/scaffolding, holding onto it with everything he'd got.

  • Have you used a dictionary? Which one? – James K Aug 13 '20 at 21:15

"Scaffold" seems like a single discrete structure, a thing. "Scaffolding" is more like a mass noun, so it brings to mind stuff.

I might rent a scaffold to paint my house, but Notre Dame is currently covered in scaffolding.

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