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Joined: September 12, 2013
Comments posted: 3
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I think that even if the speaker knows the correct plural form of a word borrowed from a foreign language (including Latin), then the speaker should not use the correct foreign plural form of the word when speaking or writing English. Why disregard the rules of English grammar? I promise always to use innuendos rather than innuendi.

In fact I've never heard anyone use innuendi which I really could not say without laughing and would not be at all surprised if someone else in earshot made a sarcastic comment, probably including such derogatory terms as "tosser" and "pretentious", aimed at anyone who did use it. Not me of course. Far too polite and well brought up.

Cirsium May 24, 2014, 8:54am

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@Warswaw Will My dislike of the plural curricula is twofold - to me it sounds wrong (but that's a personal thing) but also when spoken it gets confused with the adjective curricular as they both sound the same. And before you say that context should clarify any difference that would rather assume that everyone speaks grammatically and in sentences.

I'm actually quite happy with our current way of assimilating new forms of words into the English language through usage. Rules don't seem to help much as the forum has demonstrated.

I think I will start to use Octopodes as the plural of Octopus even though it's wrong.

Cirsium September 12, 2013, 5:45pm

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When I first came across this issue of Latin plurals within the English language I asked some linguists and they were very clear: an adopted foreign word takes the plurals of the language which has borrowed it.

So the plural of curriculum should be curriculums. Later found that similarly qualified linguists disagreed insisting it should it should be curricula. The newest dictionary I had at the time said it's an either/or. Use whichever one you want. I use curriculums but curricula sounds fine. Fora for forums sounds awful to me though but I know both are used. We don't water our gerania though do we? Nor do we wait for a bus only to find several bi turn up at once.

As an occasional field botanist though we do use taxa and taxon correctly but even the experts with advice from Latin scholars will occasionally name a plant incorrectly according to Latin grammar rules. It then has to be altered causing chaos in records which too easily can seem to have two species recorded when it is really one with two spellings.

I did study Latin at school but I'm on the whole against the use of the Latin plural for commonly used words in English. I do think they make the user sound pretentious and add nothing to clarity and understanding because most people these days I find didn't study Latin at school.

English adopts new words through common usage though so "hassle" is now and accepted dictionary word. The horror of "your" instead of "you're" will very likely happen as will "I would of" instead "I would have". Too many people use these abominations for them not to be adopted sooner or later. Omigod!

It will take time though and I'll probably be dead.

Cirsium September 12, 2013, 12:08pm

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