26

"No more Hiroshima" or "No more Hiroshimas". Some say the former and some say the latter. I'm wondering which is grammatically correct.

  • 11
    Interesting how the two phrases almost mean the direct opposite of each other! – Brian Drummond Jan 14 '15 at 22:41
  • 1
    @BrianDrummond: To clarify, do you mean: 'no more Hiroshima' = 'Hiroshima ceases to exist' vs 'no more Hiroshimas' = No more atomic bombings of cities => We would've wanted the original Hiroshima to endure. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jan 15 '15 at 21:08
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    Yes , though "No more Hiroshima" could express a wish for the city to cease existing - "No more Hiroshimas", the wish that destroying a city like that must never happen again. – Brian Drummond Jan 15 '15 at 21:10
42

The latter is correct. If the meaning is essentially There should or must never be any additional uses of nuclear bombs on cities or against people, as occurred in Hiroshima (and in Nagasaki) in August, 1945, it must be No more Hiroshimas.

People who use this expression are likely using Hiroshima to stand for the bombings of both cities. Hiroshima then, would be conceptualized as a single event, and like the word event, Hiroshima is countable.

No more Hiroshima would usually mean that the city no longer exists. It might also be used in an abbreviated way to express something like We are no longer in Hiroshima (having, for example, travelled out of it from inside it; thanks to JdeBP--see comments), or to express something like I/we/somebody will have no more experience of Hiroshima; for example, because we've left it and won't return.

English learners can perhaps more easily understand the grammar if we consider that "Hiroshimas" refers to Hiroshima plus one or more imagined or theorized cities like Hiroshima (cities that might be attacked with a nuclear bomb like Hiroshima (and Nagasaki) and that might suffer the massive loss and agony that followed. No more events (like that one). As usual, we make the countable noun (Hiroshima) plural by adding s.

It is not surprising that you may see errors in the form *(no) more + [city name/singular noun] because we would rarely see city names in plural form. We normally have in mind one Tokyo, one San Francisco, etc.

It is also likely common to find mistakes in that grammar pattern because more often determines something about quantity of mass or of a noun treated grammatically as mass: We would say no more rice much more often than no more rices.

  • 1
    Or one could be travelling out of the city on, say, the Hiroden Miyajima Line and one has reached the city limit, the point where there is no more Hiroshima. – JdeBP Jan 18 '15 at 18:31
25

Both will be correct, depending upon the context in which you want to use them. If you are referring to the CITY in particular, then it will be "No more Hiroshima". However, if you are referring the incident that occurred there, it will be "No more Hiroshimas".

  • +1 for mentioning the context. As we know, context is very important. – Andrew Grothe Jan 14 '15 at 18:56
  • @MakotoKato: I would interpret it as "We think the city should not exist anymore", and apparently many others posting here interpreted it the same. – Mooing Duck Jan 15 '15 at 18:21
22

No More Hiroshima is what almost happened in WW-2. No More Hiroshimas is what we say to indicate that we don't want that to happen again. At best, the former sounds like a clumsy attempt at the latter.

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    I just created an account on this website to upvote your answer because of the first sentence in your answer :) – VipulKumar Jan 15 '15 at 11:05
5

No more SOMETHING! means:

  • you deny someone access to that something.
  • you are sick and tired of something and express your feeling of denial.
  • you express the fact that something is gone (or you are parting ways with it).

No more SOMETHINGS! means:

  • you are against SOMETHING and express your opinion that such thing shouldn't happen anymore.

IMO. :)

  • 2
    Rather than "shouldn't happen anymore" (implying an ongoing problem), it would be more accurate to say "shouldn't ever happen again" (the event ended and should not be repeated). – 200_success Jan 14 '15 at 21:23
  • How about, This pesticide is effective. No more fleas. – Jim Reynolds Jan 15 '15 at 2:22
  • @200_success I actually considered putting ever but I didn't because if it's something out of your control, it will. And usually, definitive statements have a way of turning against you. :) – CodeAngry Jan 15 '15 at 11:51
2

To explain it in terms of terminology:

"No more Hiroshima" would treat Hiroshima as an uncountable noun. There was five square kilometres of Hiroshima before the nuclear attack, but then there's zero square kilometres of Hiroshima after the attack.

"No more Hiroshimas" would treat Hiroshima as a countable noun. There is one nuclear attack, two nuclear attacks, but hopefully no more nuclear attacks.

It's like saying "I like kangaroo" (which'd be indicate a liking of the uncountable noun of kangaroo meat), versus "I like kangaroos" (which'd indicate a liking of the countable noun of the animals themselves).

As one slight complicating factor, pluralising a city feels a little weird. Maybe they chose not to do it, even if they ought to.

  • The problem with this answer is that right after you say Hiroshima is an uncountable noun, you have a sentence counting it... – GreenAsJade Jan 15 '15 at 22:28
  • @GreenAsJade How is "There was five square kilometres of Hiroshima before the nuclear attack, but then there's zero square kilometres of Hiroshima after the attack." treating Hiroshima as a countable noun? – Andrew Grimm Jan 15 '15 at 23:04
  • I think that technically it isn't but in terms of clarity, it clouds the issue, that's all I meant to say. It brings numbers (which are counting things) into an example that's trying to show its not about counting... – GreenAsJade Jan 15 '15 at 23:46
1

I'd say both are valid. In either case, we aren't literally talking about the city of Hiroshima, rather, what happened at Hiroshima.

We use the noun Hiroshima to mean the destruction of a city with a nuclear weapon. This is a metonym.

1

I'm guessing that someone who makes either statement is saying that they don't want to see another city subjected to a nuclear attack. In that case, you would say, "No more Hiroshimas." You use the plural because "more" calls for a plural, and you are using the word "Hiroshima" as shorthand for "the nuclear attack that caused massive destruction of the city of Hiroshima". Suppose instead of this shorthand we used a literal phrase, like "nuclear attack". Then I think it's clear you would say, "No more nuclear attacks", plural, not "No more nuclear attack", singular, because "more" calls for a plural. You could recast the sentence to call for a singular, like, "I hope there is not another nuclear attack", or "I hope there is not another Hiroshima".

Someone might say "no more Hiroshima" if what he was trying to say was that the city no longer existed. Like, "After the bomb dropped, there was no more Hiroshima." But I'm guessing that's not the intent.

1

There is no direct plural in Japanese, so "Hiroshima" is like "sheep." It can refer to one Hiroshima, or it can refer to many Hiroshima.

However, in colloquial usage, we just tack an "s" on for plural in English--otherwise you end up with the very dangerous confusion included in the other questions.

Additionally, since the phrase refers not to the city as such but an event which occurred there (and only one other place), it can be considered to be a new "English" word.

In the end, "No more Hiroshima disasters" would cleanly avoid the problem, though it does lack the enthusiasm of the protest era that the original phrasing intends to load in there.

-1

There was another Hiroshima, namely Nagasaki. It should therefore be 'No more Hiroshimas or Nagasakis'.

  • Welcome to ELL.SE! The help center has the FAQ for users you may seek; or you can just start by taking a tour.|| Anyway, we'd be happier if you provide your answer with your grammatical knowledge. – M.A.R. Jan 14 '15 at 19:05
  • Why has this been voted -1? It is correct! – Ornello Jan 15 '15 at 17:17
  • It wasn't me who downvoted, but I do agree that your answer is not very explained. Ps, another Hiroshima? SERIOUSLY? Look at the other answers. – M.A.R. Jan 15 '15 at 17:44
  • There were two Japanese cities that were hit by atom bombs: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It should therefore be 'No more Hiroshimas or Nagasakis'. How does the truth of this escape your understanding? – Ornello Jan 20 '15 at 16:31
  • Nothing escapes my understanding! :D Just kidding. I was just saying that you could explain your answer a little bit more. It'll get votes for sure after that. – M.A.R. Jan 20 '15 at 16:46

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