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  1. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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      • American English
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      • United States
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    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    #11

    Re: Syllabus vs. Syllabi

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post


    I've no idea where this 'syllabi' monstrosity comes from - well, I have, really. Most latin nouns ending in -us are in the second declension, and have the plural -i. Syllabus is in the fourth (because, as you say, it is derived from Greek), and has the plural syllabūs: Latin Nouns of the Fourth Declension - Endings, AskOxford: What are the plurals of 'octopus', 'hippopotamus', 'syllabus'?

    Fortunately for my blood-pressure, the erroneous syllabi is becoming less common because of the rise of 'syllabuses'. Use that, and in the presence of Latin scholars, if you must, use syllabūs.

    b
    I think teachers/professors started using the "syllabi" plural in jest and somewhere along the way people stopped realizing it was a joke.

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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      • England
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    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28,559
    #12

    Re: Syllabus vs. Syllabi

    To sum up—let's recommend to the original poster (who might by now have lost the will to live) that she uses only 'syllabuses'.

    @MsNyree–if you're still there, honey, syllabuses will always be correct.

    Rover

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