Hi MarkBork kardemumma, thanks for your qualified support. It seems to me that kardemumma's example could also be: The East and West coast. Coast may almost belong to the same category as fish and deer, though many people are pluralizing those words too by adding an unnecessary 's' or 'es'.
Where I grew up, if I were talking about multiple coasts, it would always be coasts with an s, e.g. Canada has three long coasts: the west, east, and north coasts. (More precisely, the east and north coasts are the same coast, but people think of them as separate.)
Now that I think about it, coastline has a subtly different meaning to me: I would use coastline to talk specifically about the edge between the land and the water, whereas I would use coast to refer to the more general geographic region. I say I grew up on the west coast of Canada (as would everyone from my hometown), but in fact the nearest salty water was over 60 km away. I suppose that's because the town lies in the coastal rain forest, which serves as a boundary for where the coast ends inland, away from the coastline.
I'm so glad that I'm not the only Australian who is finding this concept difficult to understand. It's probably because we are an island nation and most of us live near the coast anyway. The only Australian example I can think of would really be the east coast, but we rarely refer to it as that but rather than as the Eastern States, and I've never heard anyone refer to the 'west coast' or 'south coast' or 'north coast'. Again, we are an island nation. It is all a single coast.
It may be easier to think of it in terms of the US, which does has a defined East and West Coast. Two coasts = plural = coasts.
Still sounds super weird to my ears though.
A question to end this with: How is Sweden considered to have distinct east and west coasts when there is nothing making them separate entities?
On the west coast of Canada, in the province of BC, the northern part of the west coast is referred to as "the north coast"... which has nothing to do with the northern coast of Canada, which is in fact, one and the same as the east coast of Canada.
The US has a south coast, really an extension of the east coast, but they call it the gulf coast.
Coasts are such abstract things...
Hi rach_jules. For Sweden the East coast is on the Baltic and the Westcoast is part of the North Sea. There is a fair bit of difference between the two. The bit opposite Denmark being the transition. Tides and salinity are quite different., but by Australian standards neither is a really long coast.
långa vita kuster does not really work in Swedish either, that should be långa vita stränder. This is because kust is on a more abstract than strand, so that it is odd to think of en kust as white. kust is more of a map thing.
Sweden is sort of an oblong country so basically we have two coasts, the West coast and the East coast.