As a general rule, I learnt that when stringing together multiple nouns to form a noun phrase, the nouns acting as adjectives lose their ending "s", even if they carry a plural meaning.
- asset inventory (an inventory of many assets)
- sample collection (a collection of samples)
- system logs (multiple logs of multiple systems)
Now my question is: if the nouns on the left always lose their s (do they?), how can I distinguish when the noun is actually singular or plural? See the following examples:
- risk analysis (how can I tell apart if the analysis is of a single risk or multiple risks?)
- system log (is it the log of a single or multiple systems ? )
- vulnerability assessment (am I assessing a single vulnerability or more than one?)
and so on...
How can I avoid the ambiguity that derives from this kind of noun phrases?