I thought for a moment and said, "A Tum." She frowned. "But it's a brand name," she said. I frowned, too. She is pregnant and I didn't want to make a wrong turn here and send her into a crying jag or an angry pregnant frenzy. "Good point," I said.
My mind went to work. "Did you Google it?" She hadn't, so I did. I turned to the World Wide Web, which told me that one should not singularize a brand name. I continued to frown. Though it proved her right - and I agreed in principal - it did not feel right to me. "Would you say 'hand me a Tums'?" I asked. "Yes," she said. "That's what I say."
Some things lend themselves to leaving the "S" intact without question. Like Schnapps. One would not ask for a shot of Schnapp. One would be summarily slapped by any bartender worth his salt - especially if the bartender was German. Aside from Schnapps, I cannot think of many trademarked brand names ending in the letter "S" that sound anything less than silly when spoken aloud when asking for a single item from its package. To whit:
- "Yeah, buddy, a Fig Newtons sounds fantastic right about now..."
- "My ear is clogged - hand me a Q-Tips, stat..."
- "My Twinkies is a little light on the delightful cream filling..."
- "The baby has shit himself - hand me a Wet Wipes! And get me a fresh Pampers!"
- "I would like a Skittles, please - just one..."
- I dropped an M&Ms - the rest are in my belly..."
Singularize when applicable, I say. And stay strong on the Schnapps.