Just the other day I saw a sign in a store in my town square that said "Semi Annual Pant Sale". Upon questioning, my wife informed me that no, they weren't selling one leg at a time, but pant was the proper usage. OK. I always thought it was pants. You learn something every day.
I looked it up today for some reason, in my Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (a little out of date I admit. It doesn't have words like ginormous, but it gets the job done). Sure enough, it is pant. It is a noun, an outer garment covering each leg separately and usually extending from the waist to the ankle (Hey, I said it was a bit outdated; we all know pants hardly reach the waist anymore). Pant is usually used in plural form (Hence my confusion). And it is short for pantaloons. (Glad we dropped that. Sounds like I am wearing something out of Pirates of Penzance). It is also an adjective, of or relating to pants, as in a pant leg.
So why do we call it a pair of pants? Wouldn't that mean two of those pant garments? By definition, they seem complete in the pant version and do not need to be pants, which seem to be a plural referring to a single garment. I mean two pairs of pants should be four pant or four outer garments covering each leg separately. Two pairs of pants, four pant, eight legs. Do the math yourself.
Further observation yielded the fact that there is even a word, pantisocracy, which sadly has nothing to do with pant, pants or pantaloons. (Government of the people, for the people, by the seat of their pants?)
If we have added ginormous to the dictionary (At least in the Webster new Millennium Dictionary of English), couldn't we have cleaned up this pant/pants confusion by now?
This is what happens when my Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics professor tells us to be more observant. Although this kind of observation and analysis was probably not what he had in mind?