Discussion:
candy vs candies
(too old to reply)
Rich Ulrich
2017-10-09 02:41:27 UTC
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A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose
English was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed her
especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)

I would not mention it, except that I heard "candies" on another
show, too, on the same evening, an hour earlier or later, from
another young woman originallly from abroad. Also excellent
English.

Logically, I can imagine extended contexts where "candies" would
be necessary, but I expected "candy" in both of these cases --
that is because "candy" is what I have always heard (AmE), even
in cases where the plural would be justified.

Is this, maybe, an idiom from the era of only one candy?

- Google-ngrams shows similar curves for BrE and AmE sources,
little candy at all before 1840, "candy" presence after WWI never as
low as before WWI; no chocolates before 1900, singular "candy"
much more frequent (5-10 times) than plural. If I read it right,
AmE writes about candy about 5 times as often as BrE.
--
Rich Ulrich
Tony Cooper
2017-10-09 04:00:27 UTC
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On Sun, 08 Oct 2017 22:41:27 -0400, Rich Ulrich
Post by Rich Ulrich
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose
English was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed her
especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
I would not mention it, except that I heard "candies" on another
show, too, on the same evening, an hour earlier or later, from
another young woman originallly from abroad. Also excellent
English.
Logically, I can imagine extended contexts where "candies" would
be necessary, but I expected "candy" in both of these cases --
that is because "candy" is what I have always heard (AmE), even
in cases where the plural would be justified.
Hmmm. I don't find "candies" at all odd. Not when it is used to
describe several varieties of candy. You can express this by saying
"Mr Sweet Tooth is a store that sells several types of candy" or "Mr
Sweet Tooth is a store that sells several types of candies".

I wouldn't consider either to be the odd one, but I have no idea which
I'd use.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter T. Daniels
2017-10-09 04:32:12 UTC
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Post by Rich Ulrich
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose
English was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed her
especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
I would not mention it, except that I heard "candies" on another
show, too, on the same evening, an hour earlier or later, from
another young woman originallly from abroad. Also excellent
English.
Logically, I can imagine extended contexts where "candies" would
be necessary, but I expected "candy" in both of these cases --
that is because "candy" is what I have always heard (AmE), even
in cases where the plural would be justified.
Is this, maybe, an idiom from the era of only one candy?
- Google-ngrams shows similar curves for BrE and AmE sources,
little candy at all before 1840, "candy" presence after WWI never as
low as before WWI; no chocolates before 1900, singular "candy"
much more frequent (5-10 times) than plural. If I read it right,
AmE writes about candy about 5 times as often as BrE.
Did you also check for the BrE equivalent, "sweets"?
Rich Ulrich
2017-10-09 17:12:26 UTC
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On Sun, 8 Oct 2017 21:32:12 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Rich Ulrich
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose
English was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed her
especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
I would not mention it, except that I heard "candies" on another
show, too, on the same evening, an hour earlier or later, from
another young woman originallly from abroad. Also excellent
English.
Logically, I can imagine extended contexts where "candies" would
be necessary, but I expected "candy" in both of these cases --
that is because "candy" is what I have always heard (AmE), even
in cases where the plural would be justified.
Is this, maybe, an idiom from the era of only one candy?
- Google-ngrams shows similar curves for BrE and AmE sources,
little candy at all before 1840, "candy" presence after WWI never as
low as before WWI; no chocolates before 1900, singular "candy"
much more frequent (5-10 times) than plural. If I read it right,
AmE writes about candy about 5 times as often as BrE.
Did you also check for the BrE equivalent, "sweets"?
Useful suggestion - I didn't think of that.

The summed lines I get for <sweets+candy> are not too different
in level for AmE and BrE sources.

In AmE, the use of "candy" is initially (1800) low, "sweets" high; and
then they cross in the middle of the picture (1800-2009). The two are
about equal in 1904, with "candy" dominating thereafter.
--
Rich Ulrich
Peter Moylan
2017-10-09 06:14:18 UTC
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Post by Rich Ulrich
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose
English was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed her
especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
It depends on where she picked up her English. If it was in Spain, then
I'd expect the BrE word "lollies". Which is always plural in that
context; you only use the singular if you're talking about a single one
of them.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
GordonD
2017-10-09 08:41:04 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose English
was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed
her especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn - you
don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
It depends on where she picked up her English. If it was in Spain,
then I'd expect the BrE word "lollies". Which is always plural in
that context; you only use the singular if you're talking about a
single one of them.
Surely that's AusE rather than BrE? Except in the specific case of a
lollipop, which comes on a stick (and the ice-lolly, or popsicle in
AmE). From one of Clive James's autobiographies I understand that in
AusE 'lollies' refers to any kind of sweet.
--
Gordon Davie
Edinburgh, Scotland
Peter Moylan
2017-10-09 11:59:23 UTC
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Post by GordonD
Post by Peter Moylan
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose English
was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed
her especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn - you
don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
It depends on where she picked up her English. If it was in Spain,
then I'd expect the BrE word "lollies". Which is always plural in
that context; you only use the singular if you're talking about a
single one of them.
Surely that's AusE rather than BrE? Except in the specific case of a
lollipop, which comes on a stick (and the ice-lolly, or popsicle in
AmE). From one of Clive James's autobiographies I understand that in
AusE 'lollies' refers to any kind of sweet.
Yes, you're right. I overgeneralised.

But does BrE use "candy" to refer to sweets? I would have guessed that
it was a rare word.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Whiskers
2017-10-09 19:20:49 UTC
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Post by Peter Moylan
Post by GordonD
Post by Peter Moylan
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose English
was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed
her especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn - you
don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
It depends on where she picked up her English. If it was in Spain,
then I'd expect the BrE word "lollies". Which is always plural in
that context; you only use the singular if you're talking about a
single one of them.
Surely that's AusE rather than BrE? Except in the specific case of a
lollipop, which comes on a stick (and the ice-lolly, or popsicle in
AmE). From one of Clive James's autobiographies I understand that in
AusE 'lollies' refers to any kind of sweet.
Yes, you're right. I overgeneralised.
But does BrE use "candy" to refer to sweets? I would have guessed that
it was a rare word.
Apart from 'candy-floss' (which I understand Americans call 'cotton
candy') and 'candy stripe' for a colourful decorative pattern, I don't
think 'candy' gets much use at all in BrE, either as singular or plural.
We have 'sweets', each type of which has it's own specific generic or
commercial name.

As the person in question originated in Cuba, I would expect her English
idioms to be mostly American; referring to 'candy' or 'candies' supports
that expectation.

'Barely accented English', or any other language, usually means that the
hearer speaks something very similar - which others might find 'strongly
accented' or even 'incomprehensible'.

Notice that this post on its own probably scores as an indicator of
frequent usage of the word 'candy' in British English, although the
content is clearly at odds with such an interpretation. 'Word counts'
are a crude and potentially very misleading way of measuring actual
usage.
--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
Mack A. Damia
2017-10-09 19:55:10 UTC
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Post by Whiskers
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by GordonD
Post by Peter Moylan
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose English
was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed
her especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn - you
don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
It depends on where she picked up her English. If it was in Spain,
then I'd expect the BrE word "lollies". Which is always plural in
that context; you only use the singular if you're talking about a
single one of them.
Surely that's AusE rather than BrE? Except in the specific case of a
lollipop, which comes on a stick (and the ice-lolly, or popsicle in
AmE). From one of Clive James's autobiographies I understand that in
AusE 'lollies' refers to any kind of sweet.
Yes, you're right. I overgeneralised.
But does BrE use "candy" to refer to sweets? I would have guessed that
it was a rare word.
Apart from 'candy-floss' (which I understand Americans call 'cotton
candy') and 'candy stripe' for a colourful decorative pattern, I don't
think 'candy' gets much use at all in BrE, either as singular or plural.
We have 'sweets', each type of which has it's own specific generic or
commercial name.
As the person in question originated in Cuba, I would expect her English
idioms to be mostly American; referring to 'candy' or 'candies' supports
that expectation.
'Barely accented English', or any other language, usually means that the
hearer speaks something very similar - which others might find 'strongly
accented' or even 'incomprehensible'.
Notice that this post on its own probably scores as an indicator of
frequent usage of the word 'candy' in British English, although the
content is clearly at odds with such an interpretation. 'Word counts'
are a crude and potentially very misleading way of measuring actual
usage.
Where's Mr. Draney?

Loading Image...
Don Phillipson
2017-10-09 14:12:50 UTC
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. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Jerry Friedman
2017-10-09 14:39:03 UTC
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Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate.
Wow, no "de gustibus" for you.
Post by Don Phillipson
Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
Maybe she didn't have sweet corn in Cuba.
--
Jerry Friedman
Rich Ulrich
2017-10-09 17:13:48 UTC
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On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:12:50 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
"Corn" is what she said. Maybe she was thinking of baked beans.
--
Rich Ulrich
charles
2017-10-09 17:28:41 UTC
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Post by Rich Ulrich
On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:12:50 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
"Corn" is what she said. Maybe she was thinking of baked beans.
or "pop corn". I have seen it in tins
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
Ken Blake
2017-10-09 18:26:21 UTC
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Post by charles
Post by Rich Ulrich
On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:12:50 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
"Corn" is what she said. Maybe she was thinking of baked beans.
or "pop corn". I have seen it in tins
I don't think I've ever heard someone say "corn" when he meant
"popcorn."
charles
2017-10-09 20:07:39 UTC
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Post by Ken Blake
Post by charles
Post by Rich Ulrich
On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:12:50 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
"Corn" is what she said. Maybe she was thinking of baked beans.
or "pop corn". I have seen it in tins
I don't think I've ever heard someone say "corn" when he meant
"popcorn."
yes, but my reading ofd waht has gone before, this is someone whose first
language isn't English
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-10-09 20:38:34 UTC
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Post by charles
Post by Rich Ulrich
On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:12:50 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
"Corn" is what she said. Maybe she was thinking of baked beans.
or "pop corn". I have seen it in tins
Or "sweetcorn".
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Cheryl
2017-10-09 21:34:32 UTC
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Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by charles
Post by Rich Ulrich
On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:12:50 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
"Corn" is what she said. Maybe she was thinking of baked beans.
or "pop corn". I have seen it in tins
Or "sweetcorn".
I wouldn't be surprised if South American, and possibly Cuban, cuisine
used types of corn (maize) which are not that same as that intended to
be briefly boiled as soon as possible after harvest. Or maybe they use
corn that's been dried for preservation after harvest as well as fresh corn.
--
Cheryl

---
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Peter T. Daniels
2017-10-09 22:06:35 UTC
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Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by charles
Post by Rich Ulrich
On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:12:50 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
"Corn" is what she said. Maybe she was thinking of baked beans.
or "pop corn". I have seen it in tins
Or "sweetcorn".
Do you have "candy corn," an utterly addictive little sort of candy bits that
are kind-of shaped like kernels of corn ("maize") and are in Hallowe'en colors
-- yellow, white, and orange bands, and sometimes brown which indicates a
touch of chocolate flavor? I suspect it's as seasonal as Peeps. It's pretty
much nothing but corn syrup (but has no corn flavor) and it's one of the great inventions of confectioners.
RH Draney
2017-10-09 23:54:38 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Do you have "candy corn," an utterly addictive little sort of candy bits that
are kind-of shaped like kernels of corn ("maize") and are in Hallowe'en colors
-- yellow, white, and orange bands, and sometimes brown which indicates a
touch of chocolate flavor? I suspect it's as seasonal as Peeps. It's pretty
much nothing but corn syrup (but has no corn flavor) and it's one of the great inventions of confectioners.
It's hideous, made mostly of sweetened carnauba wax....r
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-10-10 09:47:49 UTC
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On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 15:06:35 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
Post by charles
Post by Rich Ulrich
On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:12:50 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
"Corn" is what she said. Maybe she was thinking of baked beans.
or "pop corn". I have seen it in tins
Or "sweetcorn".
Do you have "candy corn,"
Not that I know of.
Post by Peter T. Daniels
an utterly addictive little sort of candy bits that
are kind-of shaped like kernels of corn ("maize") and are in Hallowe'en colors
-- yellow, white, and orange bands, and sometimes brown which indicates a
touch of chocolate flavor? I suspect it's as seasonal as Peeps. It's pretty
much nothing but corn syrup (but has no corn flavor) and it's one of the great inventions of confectioners.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-10-09 20:41:57 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by charles
Post by Rich Ulrich
On Mon, 9 Oct 2017 10:12:50 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
"Corn" is what she said. Maybe she was thinking of baked beans.
or "pop corn". I have seen it in tins
Or "sweet corn":
https://www.greengiant.eu/products/#corn

SWEET CORN
Picked and packed at the peak of perfection and then gently steam
cooked in the can to keep the corn sweet, juicy and full of flavour.
Delicious hot or cold, Green Giant sweet corn products are made with
100% natural ingredients and no artifcial additives or
preservatives.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Peter Moylan
2017-10-10 10:02:14 UTC
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Post by Don Phillipson
. . . One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
This person may have a defective or damaged palate. Corn
tastes best when boiled for no longer than three minutes (and
served with butter and pepper, but no salt.) Corn that is barely
ripe can be eaten raw.
I don't think boiling for three minutes works for making tortillas the
traditional way. It takes hours of hammering, I'm told.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Jerry Friedman
2017-10-09 14:56:51 UTC
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Post by Rich Ulrich
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose
English was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed her
especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
I would not mention it, except that I heard "candies" on another
show, too, on the same evening, an hour earlier or later, from
another young woman originallly from abroad. Also excellent
English.
Logically, I can imagine extended contexts where "candies" would
be necessary, but I expected "candy" in both of these cases --
that is because "candy" is what I have always heard (AmE), even
in cases where the plural would be justified.
Is this, maybe, an idiom from the era of only one candy?
- Google-ngrams shows similar curves for BrE and AmE sources,
little candy at all before 1840, "candy" presence after WWI never as
low as before WWI; no chocolates before 1900, singular "candy"
much more frequent (5-10 times) than plural. If I read it right,
AmE writes about candy about 5 times as often as BrE.
I'd say "candies" for "pieces of candy" is pretty common among young
Americans. Google suggests Pokémon may have part of the blame, though
it's hard to explain why the syntax of "candy" should be different from
that of "cookie" or "chocolate bar".
--
Jerry Friedman
Peter T. Daniels
2017-10-09 22:02:13 UTC
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Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Rich Ulrich
A couple of days ago on late night TV, a young woman whose
English was barely accented ("Her English is too good ... that clearly
indicates that she is foreign) was asked what she had impressed her
especially, after moving to Spain from Cuba in her youth. One
thing she liked was "candies". (The other was canned corn -
you don't have to /cook/ the corn forever before you can eat.)
I would not mention it, except that I heard "candies" on another
show, too, on the same evening, an hour earlier or later, from
another young woman originallly from abroad. Also excellent
English.
Logically, I can imagine extended contexts where "candies" would
be necessary, but I expected "candy" in both of these cases --
that is because "candy" is what I have always heard (AmE), even
in cases where the plural would be justified.
Is this, maybe, an idiom from the era of only one candy?
- Google-ngrams shows similar curves for BrE and AmE sources,
little candy at all before 1840, "candy" presence after WWI never as
low as before WWI; no chocolates before 1900, singular "candy"
much more frequent (5-10 times) than plural. If I read it right,
AmE writes about candy about 5 times as often as BrE.
I'd say "candies" for "pieces of candy" is pretty common among young
Americans. Google suggests Pokémon may have part of the blame, though
it's hard to explain why the syntax of "candy" should be different from
that of "cookie" or "chocolate bar".
From the really dumb summer game show *Candy Crush* (emceed by Mario Lopez),
in which pairs of contestants played the phone app "Candy Crush" on giant
touch screens, I learned that "Candy Crush" is identical to a computer game
called "Bejeweled" that I used to have. When I found the package with the
disk recently, I discovered that it was Mac-only so I couldn't install it
on the current machine.

Is the odd usage of "candies" you're seeing recent enough to have been influenced
by "Candy Crush"?
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