The Plural of Batman

We were driving home when the conversation turned, as it sometimes will, to Batman. I was reading a Chick-Fil-A honey barbeque sauce packet when I came across the words “to protect flavor”, and it all went downhill from there, as we imagined tiny microscopic versions of Batman, protecting flavor molecules from harm as though the sauce packet were a gooey Gotham City.

Dave was quite excited about microscopic caped crusaders. “Wouldn’t that be awesome? You could look through a microscope and see tons of tiny Batmen!”

Well, I couldn’t let that stand. Silly husband. “You mean ‘Batmans’. One Batman, many Batmans.”

“But the plural of man is men,” argued Dave. “So several bat-like men would be Batmen.”

“It’s an exception,” I said, “because it’s his title. Like Surgeons General.”

“So, it should be Batsman.”

“Not a chance. Surgeons General is all weird because it’s using general as an adjective. If we were talking about many generals who also happened to be accomplished surgeons, then they’d be surgeon generals, but we’re talking about many surgeons, generally. ‘Man’ is a noun, so there’s no way that Batsman makes any sense as a plural for Batman.”

He sat quietly at the light for a second.

“How about mansbat?”

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