You can blame Microsoft for that. A desktop is the surface area of a desk, to which the Windows desktop is meant to be analogous. In Swedish, that would be skrivbordsyta - literally "writing desk surface". I guess that sounded a bit too contrived, so they used just skrivbord instead.
It would simply be too long. "Desktop" and "skrivbord" are both two syllables. There is no need for the desk metaphor to specifically make reference to the upper surface. It's "escritorio" and "scrivania" in Spanish and Italian respectively too.
Plural is still skrivbord? Is that because bord dictates the rule? -ett word, one syllable ending in consonent?
Is this maybe derived from the older term writing table for a desk? I find it interesting that Skriv and bord are verify similar to the Irish Gaelic Scriobh and Bord, which are to write and table.
That's correct. scríobh and skriva are both ultimately from Latin scribere, and bord are both from a very old Germanic word which originally meant "plank" - Irish borrowed it from English a long time ago.
I type: "Desk, desks." The answer is "Desk, desks," but I'm told I'm wrong. It seems odd to be penalized for a more complete answer (at least according to the Swedish of this system).
Understood. But if a user has no context, and only one word appears--then both answers are possibly correct. This is, one imagines, why the system gives two possible answers--because the computer knows that either answer could be correct. In no case, however, would it be logically "incorrect" for a user to use hypothetical abstract reasoning to imagine two situations, one in which it is desk and one in which it is desks.
Sure - but that's near impossible from a computational standpoint to maintain all over the course. While skrivbord is certainly a trivial example, there are sentences which have several hundred accepted solutions. I agree that only being shown one correct solution is annoying, though. Personally, I've resorted to trying out different solutions when I get repeat questions.
Broadly speaking, whenever there's no context, you can enter any single (reasonable) solution.
I've just been marked wrong for NOT putting both singular and plural translations in English! Though I've just discovered it will accept "desks" on its own.
I am sorry to hear that. Clearly, that makes no sense at all. Unfortunately, as I resigned from being a course contributor a few months ago, I can no longer access the administration panel to check, so I'm afraid I can't be of much further assistance.
Was it a multiple-choice exercise, or something else? Also, was it on a desktop browser or in a mobile application?