Why Do We Say 'Opening Ceremonies' For The Opening Ceremony?

FILE - 25 JULY for 27 JULY 2012 - OLYMPIC GAMES OPENING CEREMONIES: The opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games will take place on July 27. ATHENS - AUGUST 13: The Olympic rings are seen as drummers perform during the opening ceremony of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games on August 13, 2004 at the Sports Complex Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

While there's only one Opening Ceremony of these Olympic Games, you'll hear people pluralize it more than they don't.

On Facebook today, a friend of mine posted a photograph of himself holding a ticket to the big event tonight in London. Printed on the ticket, in black and white, are the words: "London 2012 Opening Ceremony."

But for some inexplicable reason, his own comment on his own photo read: "Opening Ceremonies...can't wait!"

I've noticed this phenomenon for years, and it only happens at big events like the Olympic Games. When we talk about the opening and closing ceremony of sporting events, the two-hour ceremony becomes "ceremonies" in our vernacular. As a former copy editor, it drives me crazy.

Heck, the caption written by Getty Images for the photo used here has both "ceremonies" and "ceremony" in it. Where's my red pen?

Do we ask people, "Are you going to Johnny's graduation ceremonies?" Ummmm ... no.

Do we talk about going to Jack and Jill's wedding ceremonies? Though I'm sure some people get married twice to the same person ... no.

But for some reason, when it comes to the Olympic Games, we suddenly pluralize the "opening ceremonies" and the "closing ceremonies," as though we're all taking a trip through London together, hitting every church and pub through town, celebrating the Games with a unique event at each stop.

Maybe it's because some years it feels like it goes on for the length of two or three. Maybe it's because when mishaps like Vancouver's "technical difficulties" ensue, people wish there was a do-over.

But I assure you, it's one ceremony. And it's tonight. I can't wait!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.