I have been looking at how nouns behave with determiners and plurals and such. So things like mass, count, and collective nouns. One oddball that I have found is "weather", and I am wondering if there are other words like it in English. I am thinking specifically of the general sense of weather, whether(*ahem*) it is sunny or cloudy or fire and brimstone is pouring down out of a tornado. As opposed the sense of weather meaning rain or wind or anything marked, like "There's going to be some weather on the weekend".
So I have come up with a list of test sentences and I wonder if anybody can think of other words that can substitute for weather in all of them and still be valid or invalid as the case may be. Abstract words like "music" almost work, but "weather" seems to require some amount of specificity unlike "music". For example #3 would be valid if "music" was used. And so would #5 if you said "Listen to music!"
Is this a unique word? Also, am I still mixing up different senses of the word here?
- The weather is terrible.
- This weather is terrible.
- *Weather is terrible.
- Look at the weather!
- *Look at weather!
- *This planet has many weathers.
- *This planet has much weather.
- It looks like the weather will be good today.
- It's great to have some nice weather for a change.
- Interesting weather is on the way.
- *Weather is on the way.
Notice that it is enough to specify "weather" with just an adjective or some + ADJ. This seems like a unique property.
EDIT I believe the uniqueness of "weather" can be demonstrated in just these three sentences:
- *This is weather.
- *These are weathers.
- This is nice weather.
"Weather" can not stand on its own as a singular or a plural, but with an adjective it can. In fact the the first two sentences are sufficient. I can't think of any other noun that can't stand on its own in a NP as either singular or plural. I think that when an adjective modifies "weather" it takes on a different sense, the same sense as "There's going to be some weather on the weekend". Even if it is just mild weather or nice weather it is still something that can come and go as opposed to THE weather.