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What is the proper grammatical way, say, to name a table column: hit count or hits count? I have a hard time choosing.

  • For naming a table column, also consider just "hits", which is shorter, and should be clear enough from context. – 200_success Sep 18 '14 at 6:06
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"Hit count" is the proper way of saying it. The important thing to keep in mind here is the actual subject of the phrase or sentence you're stating. "Hits count" would imply that count is a verb, and you're trying to say that "those hits count," perhaps in a fencing match or similar context. "Hit count" means you're talking about the total count of hits.

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  • That's one way to interpret it. But a language can be ambiguous so I'm not entirely convinced that it's wrong to say hits count (or even hit's count or hits' count), although possibly differing slightly in meaning. But grammatically speaking, I feel it's correct... – Konrad Viltersten Mar 26 at 21:13
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Hit count (or count of hits), not hits count.

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  • But why? I'm not sure you're right. It's more natural so say as you suggest, agree there. But it doesn't mean that the other version is wrong. Just less common and stylistically suspect. But grammatically wrong? Not so sure... – Konrad Viltersten Mar 26 at 21:11
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It is definitely correct to say 'Hit Count', and wrong to say, 'Hits Count'.

I believe the reason is that you are counting each 'hit', not each 'hits'.

As mentioned above, if you want to refer to the collection as an object itself (the 'hits'), then you could say, 'Count of Hits' since you are now referring to a property of the (collective) group of hits (which is now a single object), rather than counting the number of hits.

A tricky one, that I suspect most (but not all) native English speakers would instinctively know, but would struggle to explain.

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  • I see where you come from but I'm not entirely convinced yet. The term hits count, as I interpreted it, would be the number of bursts of hits. Let's say that each occurrence consists of about five hits that strike in a fast sequence, followed by a notable inactive time span. The hits constitute a single event of hits. What if we count those ocurrences? – Konrad Viltersten Apr 1 at 18:28
  • In that case, 'hits count' might make sense, but it feels to me that this is a very unusual scenario. I am certainly not a web developer, but to me, you would usually be talking about how many times a webpage had been 'hit' (loaded?) - a measure of how many 'popular' the page is (without getting into technical definitions) . I'm sure it's far more complex than that - I am just talking about the way that the vast majority of people would understand it. At the end of the day, if your audience are experts, they will understand what you mean regardless of the specific wording? – Alan Apr 4 at 0:43
  • Upon reflection, in your scenario, you should perhaps refer to the 'group of hits count', but I am guessing that a non-technical audience (such as me) would be confused by that phrasing too. – Alan Apr 4 at 0:47

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