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Thread: A lot, or alot?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: A lot, or alot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    ...

    It seems my intuition of "virus, -us" isn't supported, but at least it's a possiblity. So is "virus, -i" or "virus, -a". The experts seem to agree that they don't know.

    ****

    EDIT: Wait a minute, in "virus, -i" the "-i" is probably the genitive, not the plural. In my quotation above the "-x" denote the plural. (It's a long time since I had Latin; I forgot the conventions. Hehe.)

    ...
    Of course, it's a genitive, though the genitive ending does suggest it's 2nd declension rather than 4th. It hadn't occurred to me that a word meaning 'stench' or 'slime' was unlikely to have a plural.

    Thanks for the links.

    b

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    Default Re: A lot, or alot?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Of course, it's a genitive, though the genitive ending does suggest it's 2nd declension rather than 4th. It hadn't occurred to me that a word meaning 'stench' or 'slime' was unlikely to have a plural.

    Thanks for the links.

    b
    Yes, but the more you dig the less you know. Apparantly, some scholars believe it's 4th diclension. (They seem to have "virus, -us" evidence; the only one I found is by a native speaker of Greek, as evidenced on this page.)

    Btw, reading up on "virus" is quite amusing:

    Quote Originally Posted by see above link
    Moreover, because the noun virus belongs to the fourth declension group the study of viruses should have been called virulogy and people practicing that science virulogists. My former professor in virology at veterinary school consequently called himself a virulogist and he lectured virulogy. I am afraid that these words have become extinct since he died.
    Quote Originally Posted by see above link
    Vocative examples of virus are not particularly common. Apparently the Romans seldom addressed their slime in a personal fashion.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: A lot, or alot?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    Yes, but the more you dig the less you know. Apparantly, some scholars believe it's 4th diclension. (They seem to have "virus, -us" evidence; the only one I found is by a native speaker of Greek, as evidenced on this page.)

    Btw, reading up on "virus" is quite amusing:

    Hmm.... My dictionary (so old it has no title page - it belonged first to my latin teacher when he was at school; and it was secondhand even then) just gives the -i genitive (which in my somewhat superficial view makes it 2nd). You live and learn.

    b

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    Default Re: A lot, or alot?

    Well, the 2nd declension theory seems to be favoured over the 4th declension theory, so it's not really outdated (probably). I don't even have a Latin dictionary, only my intuition and the web.

    At least, whatever the hypothetical Latin plural could have been, people agree that the English plural of "virus" is (and was) "viruses", and that "viri" is a hypercorrection.

    And I should probably add a reminder that this a thread about "a lot" vs. "alot".

    Check the correct phrase:

    a) alot of viri
    b) a lot of viruses
    c) alot of viruses
    d) a lot of viri

    (I resisted the urge to include platypusses ) EDIT: Grrr! Platypuses!

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    Default Re: A lot, or alot?


  6. #26
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    Default Re: A lot, or alot?

    I had a chat with queenbu after a looooong gap of no communication at all, and remembered this site.

    Thank you everyone that helped clarify the issue for me.

    All your efforts are greatly appreciated.



    isa

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