Evil Communication Versus Evil Communications

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Jonas Hanway wrote the evil-communication phrase in the singular collective rather than the plural: “evil communication,” rather than “evil communications.” Gale’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online, a large database of publications in English from the eighteenth century, contains 680 instances of “evil communication” and 862 instances of “evil communications.” Both English forms of the evil-communication phrase typically occurred in a religious or moral context, e.g. sermons and advice literature. The singular and plural forms appear not to be semantically distinguished.

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