In a scene in the movie Avengers:Endgame, Steve Rogers says "On my way down to coordinate search and rescue" (link). I'm confused about why articles can be omitted for "search and rescue" here.

My understanding is that articles can be omitted for abstract nouns and certain uncountable nouns, however it seems in this context, it's referring to the specific search and rescue for the event happening in the movie.

Even if it wasn't the case, shouldn't plural forms be used i.e. searches and rescues? Please help me understand!

1 Answer 1


Search and Rescue is a generic term for the organisation in place in a particular area for saving people who get into difficulties, for example in the mountains. He could have said "the local Search and Rescue service", but the meaning is clear without.

  • "search & rescue" can also be used (like, say, "track and trace") to refer to the process of carrying out the two interrelated activities, as well as the organisation specifically set up to do so. He's coordinating track & trace in the metropolitan area. Commented Jan 8, 2022 at 13:02

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