- For Teachers
Many speakers of English maintain that the correct plural of forum is fora rather than forums because it is a word of Latin origin. However, Google lists 3,720,000 entries for fora and 119,000,000 for forums.
I also hear few of these people argue that we should use the Latin genitive for the word, much less the ablative or vocative. It is a spurious argument to claim that a loan word should follow the rules of the language it comes from. How many people know the Inuit pluralisation rules for 'anorak', or the Nahautl rules for 'avocado'. If we borrow a Japanese word, can't we make it plural because Japanes has no plural? Where should we draw the line? Japanese does not accept an inanimate noun as a subject; should we follow this rule, too?
It seems that the case for fora is based on the fact that many of the pedants saying it is right have studied Latin. However, they do not extend the rule to all languages, nor do they extend it to all forms of the word. It seems to me that this is a rather flimsy arguemnt on which to base a claim that one is right and the one used by most people is wrong. I'm happy with people using fora, but I can't agree that they are somehow more correct or that forums is in any way wrong.
Categories: General Topics