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Do patients have patience?

I have received emails/letters that include “thanks for your patients” where I’m sure the writer didn’t have  the slightest idea that they really meant “thanks for your patience”. Do you know the difference?

patience: bearing or enduring difficult or trying circumstances, usually in a calm and accepting manner
The audience’s patience was rewarded with a wonderful concert.

patients: people receiving the services of medical practitioners – often ill or injured people but not always
The doctor had a queue of patients waiting to see her during the epidemic.

Given that patients refers to a group of people, it is no surprise that the word ends in s, the common plural ending.

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