John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > Danny Wier wrote: > > > > *okay, bad Latin grammar. It's a "double plural" of the neuter-gender noun > > _criterium_. That's when you form the plural of a neuter noun (-um > -a), > > then treat the plural noun like a feminine singular in -a and make *that* a > > plural (-a > -ae). So it's the plural of a plural -- in this case, a plural > > number of groups of criteria, each group being related to a diagnosis of > > --END-- > > All very true. However, the *English* word is "criterion", from the > Greek (the Latin is also from the Greek, to be sure). Plural, > of course, "criteria". The plural of "group of criteria" is > "groups of criteria". The "Latin" double plural indeed works only in the nominative, as Danny suspected. The paradigms are different. > "Agenda" is also a Latin neuter plural ("things to be done") though > always treated as singular in English, with a native plural "agendas". > So far we have been spared "agendae"; also "ignorami" (ack!), "quora" > (ouch!) and "hoodla" (double ouch!). WOW! That's a good one! Hoodlum, hoodli, hoodlo, hoodlum, hoodlo; hoodla, hoodlorum, hoodlis, hoodla, hoodlis! ROTFL! > "Viri" (or doubly illiterate > "virii"), The latter form has always puzzled me. _Viri_ is understandable, from thinking it's an o-stem, but whence the second _i_ in _virii_? This would require an underlying singular form _**virius_. > "rhinoceri", and "hippopotami" are probably now impossible > to get rid of. Ha! One of my favourite linguistic jokes is the "Latin" declension of the word _bus_ `public carriage': Sing. Plur. Nom. bus bi Gen. bi borum Dat. bo bis Acc. bum bos Abl. bo bis Sound cool when recited: "Bus, bi, bo, bum, bo; bi, borum, bis, bos, bis." Hey, that's a great .sig line! There's indeed quite a number of *weird* applications of Latin morphology to non-classical words in circulation. As soon as a word ends in _-us_, _-a_ or _-um_, you can be sure that someone tries to decline it the Latin way. I am not free of guilt, using _pizzae_ as plural of _pizza_ in my high school days. And I think I have already heard "reconstruted" singular forms such as _Ferengus_ and _Quendus_. ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf "Bus, bi, bo, bum, bo; bi, borum, bis, bos, bis!"