viruses vs virii

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The most commonly used version is 'viruses', but 'virii' is regarded by some as the 'proper' spelling.

Which is correct? [and why?]

Thanks
 

RonBee

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The correct spelling is viruses. That is because virus ends in s, so we add an es to form the plural. Those who contend that the plural should be virii base that on virus being from Latin. However, English is not Latin. In the case of some Latin borrowings the original plural has been retained, but that is not always the case.

[Edited to note that Mike's answer was better than mine.]

:)
 

MikeNewYork

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cjmuk said:
The most commonly used version is 'viruses', but 'virii' is regarded by some as the 'proper' spelling.

Which is correct? [and why?]

Thanks

There are many words in English that originated in Latin and retain the Latinate pluralization. We have alumnus/alumni, alumna/alumnae, bacterium/bacteria, etc. There are others that have two acceptable plurals, Latinate and English: gymnasium/gymnasia and gymnasiums, forum/fora and forums, helix/helices and helixes, etc.

The word virus certainly originated in Latin, but here is the problem with the "genius" who thinks that the "proper" plural is "virii". First of all, there is no reputable English dictionary that lists the word "virii". Second, and even more importantly, Latin words of a certain declension are pluralized by changing -us to -i, not -ii. Therefore, even in Latin, virus would not become "virii". Finally, while there was a word "viri" in Latin, it had nothing to do with "virus". The Latin word "virus" did not describe microorganisms. The Romans had no knowledge of such things. The Latin word "virus" meant venom, slime, stench and it had no plural. Modern scientists borrowed the word to name a certain "new" type of infectious agent. The plural of virus was then and is now "viruses". The following web site will add more information.

http://www.perl.com/language/misc/virus.html
 

Tdol

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I didn't know that was the reason. Thanks, Mike. ;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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tdol said:
I didn't know that was the reason. Thanks, Mike. ;-)

You're welcome. I wonder how the original poster made out with the information. :roll:
 

Tdol

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I hope they learned your paragraph and quoted it in its entirity at the person who uses the 'correct' plural. ;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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tdol said:
I hope they learned your paragraph and quoted it in its entirity at the person who uses the 'correct' plural. ;-)

:wink:
 

MikeNewYork

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RonBee said:
Thank you for that very thorough explanation. :D

Can you help with this: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2607

Perhaps you know what a universal statement is?

:)

Help ESL Learners Learn Irregular Verbs
https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1967&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

:)

Sorry, I don't. My guess would be that it is some sort of "moral of the story" that applies to situations outside the book's context, but that would be just a guess. :oops:
 

Red5

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It seems that some people use the term "universal statement" about part of an essay.

http://www.brunswickschool.org/wicknet/english/sburdett/writing_process.htm

"Conclusion

Restate the thesis

to bring the reader back to the main point using

specific references. Now, make some general statements which give

advice to all people or a recommendation which would apply in most situations. This is

called a universal statement because it is not specific to one literary piece, person, or situation."

http://www.narragansett.k12.ri.us/NHS/eng/online/litanalysis.htm

"The conclusion is one paragraph, as well. At this point, you should step back from the specifics of your subject and relate it to the world as a whole, a universal statement, if you will; this makes your topic relevant to the reader. Remember that this is the last thing your reader will read; therefore, a restatement of your Thesis Statement, a summary of your arguments and some thoughtful reflection is vital to leave the reader with a good impression."

http://www.colegiobolivar.edu.co/English_Dept/Downloads/Writing an Essay.htm



http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&safe=off&q="universal+statement"+writing

;-)
 

RonBee

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Red5 said:
It seems that some people use the term "universal statement" about part of an essay.

http://www.brunswickschool.org/wicknet/english/sburdett/writing_process.htm

"Conclusion

Restate the thesis

to bring the reader back to the main point using

specific references. Now, make some general statements which give

advice to all people or a recommendation which would apply in most situations. This is

called a universal statement because it is not specific to one literary piece, person, or situation."

http://www.narragansett.k12.ri.us/NHS/eng/online/litanalysis.htm

"The conclusion is one paragraph, as well. At this point, you should step back from the specifics of your subject and relate it to the world as a whole, a universal statement, if you will; this makes your topic relevant to the reader. Remember that this is the last thing your reader will read; therefore, a restatement of your Thesis Statement, a summary of your arguments and some thoughtful reflection is vital to leave the reader with a good impression."

http://www.colegiobolivar.edu.co/English_Dept/Downloads/Writing an Essay.htm



http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&safe=off&q="universal+statement"+writing

;-)

Thanks, Red! :D

Did you post that to the questioner?

:?:

Help ESL Learners Learn Irregular Verbs
https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1967&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

:)
 

Tdol

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I posted a link to a site that was a study aid to the work, which should set him\her right. If they wanted the work done for them, well... ;-)
 

RonBee

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MikeNewYork said:
RonBee said:
Thank you for that very thorough explanation. :D

Can you help with this: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2607

Perhaps you know what a universal statement is?

:)

Help ESL Learners Learn Irregular Verbs
https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1967&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

:)



Sorry, I don't. My guess would be that it is some sort of "moral of the story" that applies to situations outside the book's context, but that would be just a guess. :oops:

I think that is not far off, actually.

:)
 

Casiopea

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cjmuk said:
The most commonly used version is 'viruses', but 'virii' is regarded by some as the 'proper' spelling.

Which is correct? [and why?]

Thanks

The plural of virus is viruses. This tendency is sometimes called hypercorrection. A similar habit is the often-reviled "between you and I". And finally, what is the plural of octopus? Either octopodes or octopuses, but never octopi.

http://www.bisso.com/ujg_archives/000079.html

:D
 

Tdol

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I have never heard 'octopodes' used. Have you? ;-)
 

RonBee

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If you register with the forum you will receive email notifications of messages.

:)
 

Casiopea

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tdol said:
I have never heard 'octopodes' used. Have you? ;-)

-podes, -pede, foot (e.g. pedestrian)

Etymology

octopus, 1758 as genus name, from Gk. oktopous "eight-footed," from okto "eight" + pous "foot." Proper plural is octopodes, though octopuses probably works better in English. (Octopi is from mistaken assumption that -us is the L. noun ending that takes -i in plural. octoroon.)

www.etymology.com

:D
 

Tdol

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I accept it's correct, but was wondering if you had ever heard it used, because I haven't. I've heard the form used elsewhere- dim memories of school Biology lessons. I just wonder if you know anyone who'd aroder the octopode salad in a restaurant. I have heard someone say 'these spaghettei', but I'm yet to meet an 'octopodes' user. ;-)
 

Casiopea

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tdol said:
I just wonder if you know anyone who'd order the octopode salad in a restaurant. I have heard someone say 'these spaghettei', but I'm yet to meet an 'octopodes' user. ;-)

In general, not unless they're Ancient Greeks or subscribe to the rules of their grammar :shock:

:D :D
 

Tdol

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London is very mutlicutlural, but I believe we are low on Ancient Greeks. ;-)
 
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