Plural of the word "status"

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Chris Hudson

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Hi

My colleagues and I are debating the plural form of the word "STATUS". I'm convinced that it is "STATES", but others insist that it is "STATUSES", which to me sounds incorrect.

Checking a number of online dictionaries, produces different results: some say it is a valid word, whilst others do not.

Any comments or clarifications greatly accepted.

Chris.
 

MikeNewYork

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Chris Hudson said:
Hi

My colleagues and I are debating the plural form of the word "STATUS". I'm convinced that it is "STATES", but others insist that it is "STATUSES", which to me sounds incorrect.

Checking a number of online dictionaries, produces different results: some say it is a valid word, whilst others do not.

Any comments or clarifications greatly accepted.

Chris.

State and status can be synonyms, but both have their own plural forms. I would go with "statuses". Even my unabridged dictionary does not list "stati". :wink:
 

Tdol

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I could only find it through Google; I'd never heard it. ;-)
 

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tdol said:
I could only find it through Google; I'd never heard it. ;-)

Sometimes, when people do that, they choose nouns from the wrong Latin declension. I don't know where "status" falls in that. 8)
 

Tdol

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I think the 'status\states' idea comes from a confusion with 'analysis\analyses'. ;-)
 

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tdol said:
I think the 'status\states' idea comes from a confusion with 'analysis\analyses'. ;-)

That's possible. Good point. :wink:
 

zb42

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Note that the plural of status is not statuses or even stati. Like salmon and
sheep, the plural of status is simply status. However, according to the Oxford
English Dictionary these are pronounced differently: the ‘u’ in the singular is as the ‘u’ in datum, whereas the plural has an ‘u’ as in tune.
 

BobK

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Sometimes, when people do that, they choose nouns from the wrong Latin declension. I don't know where "status" falls in that. 8)

The Fourth Declension; the Latin plural is status (with a long U). I wish people wouldn't fool around with Latin endings when they don't know what they're doing.

The only admissible English plural for "status" is "statuses". If people aren't happy with that, they need to paraphrase.

b
 

MikeNewYork

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Note that the plural of status is not statuses or even stati. Like salmon and
sheep, the plural of status is simply status. However, according to the Oxford
English Dictionary these are pronounced differently: the ‘u’ in the singular is as the ‘u’ in datum, whereas the plural has an ‘u’ as in tune.

I have to disagree with that. Webster's Dictionary lists only one plural for "status" and that is statuses.

Main Entry:status
Pronunciation:*st*]d.*s, *sta], ]t*s sometimes *st*] or *st*]
Function:noun
Inflected Form:-es
Usage:eek:ften attributive
Etymology:Latin * more at STATE
 

MrPedantic

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This may be one of those happy occasions where I can agree with everyone.

I would look at it as follows:

1. Status (long u) is the correct plural in Latin (4th decl., as Bob says, rather than 2nd decl.)

2. Status (long u) is a "rare" (OED) plural in English. (And rightly so: I challenge anyone to work it into a conversation without attracting strange looks.)

3. Stati is not the correct plural in Latin, but is quite common in English.

4. Statuses is not the correct plural in Latin, but is a valid anglicised plural, and also the most common in English.

I feel a little sorry for #3. I wonder whether a convoluted case might be made for it: perhaps on the grounds that we are now so accustomed to -i as a plural for any remotely Latin-looking word that ends in -us, that it's almost a valid English plural in itself. (This would also let "octopi" off the hook.)

MrP
 

BobK

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3. Stati is not the correct plural in Latin, but is quite common in English.
...

I feel a little sorry for #3. I wonder whether a convoluted case might be made for it: perhaps on the grounds that we are now so accustomed to -i as a plural for any remotely Latin-looking word that ends in -us, that it's almost a valid English plural in itself. (This would also let "octopi" off the hook.)
MrP

And I feel quite sorry about #3 ;-) As I've said elsewhere, people who go around sticking Latinate endings willy-nilly on any vaguely Latin-looking word are ignorami with hidden agendae; I just wish compulsory Latin was on more school syllabi. (But let's not get into that ;-))

b
 

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And I feel quite sorry about #3 ;-) As I've said elsewhere, people who go around sticking Latinate endings willy-nilly on any vaguely Latin-looking word are ignorami with hidden agendae; I just wish compulsory Latin was on more school syllabi. (But let's not get into that ;-))

b

I think we should get into that. I was not fond of high school Latin until I got into college. Then, the value was revealed to me - law, medicine, English, vocabulary, etc. I would support compulsory Latin for anyone interested in academics.
 

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I would be sorry to see Greek and Latin reduced to the stati of mere appendages to Linguistics and English plural-formation...
 

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beascarpetta

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I have to disagree with that.

I deeply regret to inform you that this then is a grave mistake on Mr.Webster's part. :-D

No self-respecting Roman citizen or author, be it in the

classical period (100-14 BC)
, postclassical period (14 BC - 200 AD),late period

(200-600 AD) or the
medieval period (600-1300) of Latin would be caught

dead using
any other plural than "STATUS".
 
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MrPedantic

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No self-respecting Roman citizen or author, be it in the classical period (100-14 BC), postclassical period (14 BC - 200 AD),late period (200-600 AD) or the medieval period (600-1300) of Latin would be caught dead using any other plural than "STATUS".

I would be interested to see some examples of plural "status" in Latin authors, if anyone knows of any. So far I've only found one:

1. crebro commutat status

in Plautus, where I think it means "attitudes".

MrP
 

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would you rather have examples taken from prose authors or poets (where there might be ambiguous undertones concerning the meaning of the word "status" such as in Plautus,slightly ironic even) and which era would you be most interested in?

I find both Livy's use of the phrase "in pristinum status/in pristinos status redire" meaning to return to pristine values
and his use of "status" within military context
statibus movere hostes to mess up the enemy's battle line
as well as
Tacitus' use of "rei publicae status" as a state's constitution/mode of being (used several times in plural as well,especially in his Annals,Agricola,..) as opposed to Caesar's use of "eo statu res erat" such was the state of affairs
show how diverse the word's original meaning "(the act of)standing" actually became.
 
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