• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Latin Plurals

    October 27th, 2012
    ling  [html]
    Many English words are borrowed from Latin, where they took a different plural. I'm interested in the most common case where we use the Latin plural "-um/-a". While most English speakers, now and historically, have never known Latin, I'm not sure whether these are generally learned all as a exceptions or as a rule for words ending in "-um". What nouns are consistently used in the plural with the Latin-style '-a' as opposed to the English-style '-ums'? From currently Latin-dominant to currently English-dominant (as of 2000), with the year being when it switched styles if there is one.
    flagellums, flagella n/a
    equilibriums, equilibria n/a
    mediums, media n/a
    millenniums, millennia 1935 (E-L)
    scriptoriums, scriptoria n/a
    vomitoriums, vomitoria n/a
    colloquiums, colloquia n/a
    dictums, dicta n/a
    atriums, atria n/a
    maximums, maxima n/a
    imperiums, imperia n/a
    continuums, continua n/a
    symposiums, symposia n/a
    consortiums, consortia n/a
    cerebellums, cerebella n/a
    honorariums, honoraria n/a
    crematoriums, crematoria n/a
    sanatariums, sanataria n/a
    minimums, minima n/a
    opprobriums, opprobria n/a
    compendiums, compendia 1945 (E-L)
    podiums, podia n/a
    decorums, decora 1855 (E-L)
    moratoriums, moratoria n/a
    sanatoriums, sanatoria n/a
    cerebrums, cerebra n/a
    referendums, referenda n/a
    arboretums, arboreta n/a
    emporiums, emporia 1952 (E-L)
    solariums, solaria 1975 (L-E)
    gymnasiums, gymnasia 1912 (L-E)
    terrariums, terraria 1953 (L-E)
    stadiums, stadia 1986 (L-E)
    aquariums, aquaria 1988 (L-E)
    auditoriums, auditoria 1885 (L-E)
    forums, fora 1925 (L-E)
    prosceniums, proscenia 1920 (L-E)
    planetariums, planetaria n/a
    ultimatums, ultimata 1902 (L-E)
    pandemoniums, pandemonia n/a
    condominiums, condominia n/a
    premiums, premia n/a
    museums, musea n/a
    geraniums, gerania n/a
    nasturtiums, nasturtia n/a
    I'm leaving off words like "agenda" and "data" which are commonly used as singular. Also words like "hoodlum" and "harmonium" which aren't Latin, and words where the plural doesn't make much sense ("cesium", "Belgium").


    [1] This varies by topic. If I'm buying shirts I might be looking for "the mediums" but in complaining about campaign coverage I would blame "the media".

    Comment via: google plus, facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    It's ok to feed stray cats

    Before we had kids, Jeff and I fostered a couple of cats. One had feline AIDS and was very skinny. Despite our frugal grocery budget of the time, I put olive oil on her food, determined to get her healthier. I knew that stray cats were not a top global pr…

    via Giving Gladly May 15, 2021

    Collections: Teaching Paradox, Europa Universalis IV, Part III: Europa Provincalis

    This is the third part of our series (I, II) examining the historical assumptions of Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy computer game set in the early modern period, Europa Universalis IV (which is in turn the start of a yet larger series looking at sev…

    via A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry May 14, 2021

    Randal O’Toole Gets High-Speed Rail Wrong

    Now that there’s decent chance of US investment in rail, Randal O’Toole is resurrecting his takes from the early Obama era, warning that high-speed rail is a multi-trillion dollar money sink. It’s not a good analysis, and in particular it gets the reality…

    via Pedestrian Observations May 12, 2021

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact