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  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: What's the PL. form of ' phenomenon' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss
    It's traditional to use the original Latin or (in this case) Greek plural endings for many similar words, but increasingly they are being regularized with the English "-s" ending. If the dictionary lists "-s" as an acceptable alternative you can use it, but purists may not like it.
    Forums/fora is a case where I have seen the -s form become more and more accepted. A few years ago, I saw the Latin plural used more on the net, but the English ending does seem to have won the day.

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    Default Re: What's the PL. form of ' phenomenon' ?

    One of the problems with loan words in English is that it is considered elegant to use the original plural forms for words from the classical languages Greek and Latin, whereas we would never dream of doing it for other languages.

    We say, for example, "kindergartens" instead of "kindergaerten", "pizzas" instead of "pizze" and "babushkas" instead of "babushki".

    To make matters worse, we have a habit of taking plural nouns from other languages and making them singular: "graffiti" and "spaghetti" are two examples, and increasingly "data" is being seen as a singular uncountable noun (like "information").

  3. #13
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    Default Re: What's the PL. form of ' phenomenon' ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss
    One of the problems with loan words in English is that it is considered elegant to use the original plural forms for words from the classical languages Greek and Latin, whereas we would never dream of doing it for other languages.

    We say, for example, "kindergartens" instead of "kindergaerten", "pizzas" instead of "pizze" and "babushkas" instead of "babushki".

    To make matters worse, we have a habit of taking plural nouns from other languages and making them singular: "graffiti" and "spaghetti" are two examples, and increasingly "data" is being seen as a singular uncountable noun (like "information").
    It is rather that our forefathers considered it 'elegant' to do so, because classical Latin and Greek were the languages of the educated - English was a peasant language. This is our inheritance, and there is no point trying to change it just for the sake of change. Modern loan words are quite properly declined according to the rules of English grammar. I grant you that 'datum' and 'data' might appear to be exceptions, almost certainly because 'data' is a re-borrowed loan word from the jargon of IT. It's just one of those curious c'est la vies that spice up the language .

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