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#5614 - 08/24/00 04:25 AM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5615 - 08/24/00 05:43 AM Re: Virii - why not?
RhubarbCommando Offline
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Virii ?? why two "i"s ? (apart from hackneyed jokes about being able to see better)
Surely the plural of "virus" should be "viri": it could only be virii if the singular were virius (c.f. radius/radii)

It is the sort of question that bugs you, is it not?


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#5616 - 08/24/00 06:08 AM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5617 - 08/24/00 07:22 AM Re: Virii - why not?
RhubarbCommando Offline
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This is what is vulgarly referred to as "a cop out."

"Beauty is truth," you say; "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," is an aphorism also well accredited. Put them together and you can deduce that truth is in the eye of the beholder.
Which gives "viruses" an equal claim, I aver.


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#5618 - 08/24/00 08:06 AM Re: Virii - why not?
TEd Remington Offline
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The plural is viri in Latin but viruses in English. I have seen it as viri in medical journals, but not anywhere else that I recall.

I suspect the reason for this apparent discrepancy is that viruses trips off the tongue better than do radiuses and hippopotamuses. The accented syllable (vir) is too close to the -i to be sonorous (at least in English).

Along those lines, most dictionaries show octopuses or octopi as the plural of octopus. In my view the latter is incorrect since octopus is not from Latin, but from Greek okto (eight) plus pous (foot).



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#5619 - 08/24/00 11:06 AM Re: Virii - why not?
tsuwm Offline
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>Along those lines, most dictionaries show octopuses or octopi as the plural of octopus. In my view the latter is incorrect since octopus is not from Latin, but from Greek okto (eight) plus pous (foot).

well, maybe we should compromise with octopodes then...


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#5620 - 08/24/00 02:47 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5621 - 08/24/00 06:33 PM Re: Virii - why not?
lusy Offline
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well, maybe we should compromise with octopodes then...

Thanks yet again, tsuwm, for setting us all straight. My beloved Chambers even agrees with you!!
It gives "octpuses" as archaic, "octopi" as wrong, and "octopodes" as correct. And I have seen this form used often, can't remember specifically where or when.

Rgds, lusy


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#5622 - 08/24/00 06:48 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5623 - 08/25/00 04:11 AM Re: Virii - why not?
Bridget Offline
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>, maybe we should compromise with octopodes then<

Can I infer from this that now I have moved to Australia I am living in an Antipus?

Shame, I always rather liked cats.....


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#5624 - 08/25/00 06:15 AM Re: Virii - why not?
wsieber Offline
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>the plural is viri in latin...
yes, but that is the plural of vir (=man), whereas virus is of neuter gender, and therefore has the plural vira, see
http://lysy2.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/WORDS.EXE?vira
I must admit I never saw this plural in contemporary use. To me, it sounds vastly more elegant than viruses, not to speak of virii, which we should rather not put into circulation.


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#5625 - 08/25/00 09:37 AM Re: Virii - why not?
Jazzoctopus Offline
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well, maybe we should compromise with octopodes then...

I'd have to say that I prefer octopi.


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#5626 - 08/25/00 11:06 AM Re: Virii - why not?
william Offline
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what's archaic about octopuses?
i've never heard octopodes in my life. was it meant to be a joke?


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#5627 - 08/25/00 09:01 PM Re: Virii - why not?
Jackie Offline

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Goodness me! william, you're right--take a day off and who knows what you'll find when you return.
Such agonizings, over what was plainly stated as a made-up-in-total-subjectivity word, though it did lead, as these things so often seem to do here, to other interesting items.

Max, have you ever considered moving to Hawaii? Just think of how often you'd get to see and use that lovely ii.


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#5628 - 08/25/00 09:26 PM Re: Virii - why not?
tsuwm Offline
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>i've never heard octopodes in my life. was it meant to be a joke?

not at all. YCLIU


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#5629 - 08/25/00 10:05 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5630 - 08/25/00 11:23 PM Re: Virii - why not?
Jackie Offline

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Max, my NZ connection told me that the two languages originated in the same area. (What he based this on, I don't know.) Interestingly, he said he gets Maori words by studying the vowel structure. I don't speak or read Hawaiian, but I know it is a language brimming with vowels.
He taught me how to pronounce Aotearoa. One of the Hawaiian islands is Oahu: three syllables!


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#5631 - 08/26/00 12:16 AM Re: Virii - why not?
tsuwm Offline
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humuhumunukunukuapuaa - a *small* Hawaiian fish


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#5632 - 08/26/00 03:05 AM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5633 - 08/26/00 03:11 AM
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#5634 - 08/26/00 04:19 PM Re: Virii - why not?
william Offline
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>not at all. YCLIU


of course i never doubted the authenticity of your sources, tsuwm.

i just think "octopodes" becoming the plural of octopus is about as likely as imelda marcos leaving a shoe shop empty handed.



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#5635 - 08/26/00 11:35 PM Re: Virii - why not?
tsuwm Offline
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>i just think "octopodes" becoming the plural of octopus is about as likely as...

an... interesting... choice of words, to which I will merely reply by quoting the OED:

octopus Pl. octopodes (ok TOP oh des), anglicized octopuses.




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#5636 - 08/27/00 06:58 AM Re: consonants
AnnaStrophic Offline
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>>...What fascinates me is how the consonants disappear in a northerly direction.

This being the Southern corollary to what us Northern Hemisphere philologist types, in referring to developments causing the differences among the members of the Finno-Ugric family, call The Great Vowel Movement.



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#5637 - 08/27/00 10:55 AM Re: consonants
tsuwm Offline
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>the great vowel movement

US Plans to Deploy Over 75,000 Vowels:
Cities of Sjlbvdnzv, Grzny to Be First Recipients.

Before an emergency joint session of Congress yesterday, President Clinton announced US plans to deploy over 75,000 vowels to the war-torn region of Bosnia. The deployment, the largest of its kind in American history, will provide the region with the critically needed letters A,E,I,O and U, and is hoped to render countless Bosnian names more pronounceable.

"For six years, we have stood by while names like Ygrjvslhv and Tzlynhr and Glrm have been horribly butchered by millions around the world," Clinton said. "Today, the United States must finally stand up and say 'Enough.' It is time the people of Bosnia finally had some vowels in their incomprehensible words.

The US is proud to lead the crusade in this noble endeavour." The deployment, dubbed Operation Vowel Movement by the State Department, is set for early next week, with the Adriatic port cities of Sjlbvdnzv and Grzny slated to be the first recipients. Two C-130 transport planes, each carrying over 500 24-count boxes of "E's," will fly from Andrews Air Force Base across the Atlantic and airdrop the letters over the cities. Citizens of Grzny and Sjlbvdnzv eagerly await the arrival of the vowels.




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#5638 - 08/27/00 02:59 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5639 - 08/27/00 04:24 PM Re: u or non-u
tsuwm Offline
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>a tentative first step toward the re-anglicisation of American orthography?

an 'a' must have inadvertently found its way into that case of 'e's (or I cribbed it from an anglican [or a ponce]).



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#5640 - 08/28/00 01:15 AM Re: u or non-u
Bingley Offline
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In reply to:

>a tentative first step toward the re-anglicisation of American orthography?

an 'a' must have inadvertently found its way into that case of 'e's (or I cribbed it from an anglican


What are the orthographical differences between Anglicans and other religious groups?

Bingley

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#5641 - 08/28/00 01:52 PM Virus as a neuter gender
TEd Remington Offline
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> yes, but that is the plural of vir (=man), whereas virus is of neuter gender, and therefore has the plural vira, see
http://lysy2.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/WORDS.EXE?vira


I must respectfully disagree. Regardless of what this on-line dictionary says, virus is by Latin definition a masculine noun, unless Rosa Parva (Rose Little, my esteemed latin teacher) was WAY wrong. Words in the nominative case that end in -um are neuter, those that end in -a are feminine in construction. But they are not necessarily neuter or feminine in reality. Agricola is the word for farmer, and it is most definitely feminine in construction. Nauta, sailor, is another one I remember. I am sure there are other words like vir and virus that could have similar spellings in some of their cases and I am sure the Romans had no trouble determining from context the difference between several men and several poisons (notwithstanding what some modern-day ultra-femininists might believe).

Now this brings up one of my favorite topics of conversation about language and one of my pet peeves as well. I took two years of Latin in high school, mainly because my parents thought French would be better for me (GRIN). I contend that these two years of Latin were the most important overall in my education, giving me good basics in sentence construction as well as in the art of vocabulary.

My pet peeve is that it is impossible to find Latin being taught at the high school level.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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#5642 - 08/28/00 02:41 PM Re: u or non-u
tsuwm Offline
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>What are the orthographical differences between Anglicans and other religious groups?

<sigh> I refer you to the second sense below....

anglican
1 : of or relating to the established episcopal Church of England and churches of similar faith and order in communion with it
2 : of or relating to England or the English nation
[Merriam-Webster]




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#5643 - 08/28/00 03:05 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5644 - 08/28/00 03:16 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5645 - 08/28/00 04:26 PM Re: u or non-u
tsuwm Offline
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max,

this exegesis (what a friend) is not going to be worth the disk space it eats up, but you did ask it as a favor, so what the heck. first, as a disclaimer, I never ever spell color with an 'e' or an 'a' (or with a supererogatory 'u' for that matter). now, here is my theory. it was either a typo or a brain-disconnect (it's a fine point). that's my theory.

-anne elk

p.s. - so which of us is supposed to feel spectacularly stapled at this point??




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#5646 - 08/28/00 04:45 PM Re: Virus as a neuter gender
Jazzoctopus Offline
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Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
My pet peeve is that it is impossible to find Latin being taught at the high school level. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

This, I believe, is more true with public schools. Cincinnati, with more than it's fair share of catholic schools, has a few that offer Latin. A good friend of mine took Latin. Unfortunately, the public school that I attend, though it is a very good one, does not offer Latin. I probably would have taken it were I given the choice, but due to the lack I went with German.


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#5647 - 08/28/00 06:09 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5648 - 08/28/00 06:36 PM Re: u or non-u
tsuwm Offline
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>a subjective definion...

I am fit to be tied -- "definion" is *way too anglicized for this poor yank!


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#5649 - 08/28/00 06:49 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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#5650 - 08/28/00 10:49 PM Re: staples of cacography
tsuwm Offline
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>caused by poor hand-eye coordination

yes, it's truly amazing how often this particular mis-spell manifests itself! I often type it as defintion.



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#5651 - 08/28/00 11:16 PM Re: ambulatory vowels
AnnaStrophic Offline
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>>>the great vowel movement

>> US Plans to Deploy Over 75,000 Vowels:
Cities of Sjlbvdnzv, Grzny to Be First recipients.


OK, tsuwm, *squaring off* where'd you find that? It's hilarious (taking no faint pride, however, in my pun being original, pre-dating this shameless plagiarism by 20 years )!


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#5652 - 08/29/00 01:07 AM Re: Virus as a neuter gender
wsieber Offline
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>virus is by Latin definition a masculine noun<

Hi Ted,
Since the teaching of Latin is not so widespread anymore, it might not be superfluous to recall that in spite of its relative regularity, even Latin has its fair share of exceptions to formal rules. Those are probably mostly taught in the third and following years (-: ... But I have scanned the Web in the meantime, and "virus" seems to be a somewhat contentious case, not concerning its gender, which is recognized throughout as neuter, but with respect to its declension. There are no instances of its plural in the old literature.


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#5653 - 08/29/00 07:48 AM Re: Virus as a neuter gender
TEd Remington Offline
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>But I have scanned the Web in the meantime, and "virus" seems to be a somewhat contentious case, not concerning its gender, which is recognized throughout as neuter, but with respect to its declension. There are no instances of its plural in the old literature.

ws:

My point is that virus (unless it is a very irregular noun) would take a masculine declension, even though it is considered to be neuter in gender. Nauta (sailor) and agricola (farmer) are feminine in declension but are considered masculine in gender. Their plurals are nautae and agricolae, not nauti and agricoli. I'm not familiar enough with Latin any more to be certain, but I do not remember any words with a singular -us ending in the nominate singular which became -a in the nominative plural.

Being neuter in gender, virus would take a neuter adjective. Virus malum (bad poison, which is a bit of a redundancy of course) would be viri mala in the plural. Bottom line: I believe that the plural of virus is going to be viri not vira (at least in classical Latin).

Now where IS that Bill Buckley fellow when we need him?

Ted

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#5654 - 08/29/00 07:35 PM Re: Virus as a neuter gender
tsuwm Offline
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>Now where IS that Bill Buckley fellow when we need him?

I don't think Buckley is quixotic enough to take on the OED on *this matter; see for example:

"They were given physical, social and psychological examinations and then, placed in quarantine, cold viruses were deposited in their nasal passages."
-W.F. Buckley

the earliest citation that the OED has for the plural is this: 1908 Jrnl. Compar. Path. & Therapeutics XIII. 59 "Filters which are efficient for the arrest of the smallest of the known visible microbes allow the viruses of these diseases to pass through their pores."

as to the original question, why not virii?, here is an intersting discussion: http://language.perl.com/misc/virus.html


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#5655 - 08/30/00 10:06 AM Re: u or non-u
RhubarbCommando Offline
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Posts: 2204
>What are the orthographical differences between Anglicans and other religious groups?


Despite tsuwm's sigh's, I consider the question to be serious enough to need of an answer as it stands. I am not an expert in religious matters (or any others, for that matter) but I would consider it probable that Protestants, with their work-ethis, would not have much use for "e"s and therefore would favour "bees." :-)

Certain Druidic tribes of Ancient Britains in North West England certainly used the Dee a great deal, especially in matters relating to transport, but also as a Deity.

Worshippers of Sauron, in Mordor and out, were afraid of the "I."

"Jay," symbol of gaudiness, was eschewed by Quakers asnd (I think) Anabaptists.

Irish Catholics (and probably those of countries other than England) use "Q"s on Saturday night for the purpose of confession.

The Methodist temperance literature of the Nineteenth century gave prominence to "T"s.

"U" are likely to be targetted by Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and similar prozelytizing faiths ("W" if your partner is with you.)

"Eggs" are used by Mother Nature worshippers as an object of veneration

and, finally, "Y" is aked by members of all sects of the Xtian faith and many others. Does that include Bhuddists, or do they accept without asking?
:-)



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#5656 - 08/30/00 10:17 AM Re: u or non-u
RhubarbCommando Offline
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> I am fit to be tied -- "definion" is *way too anglicized for this poor yank

Oh Max! it is my turn to be disappointed
- I had interpreted "definion" as a particularly fine portmanteau for "definite opinion" or, possibly, "definitive opinion" which would be even more grand.

Ah, Well! maybe I will use it anyway. I am a great believer in the efficacy of serendipity for the further development of the English language.


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#5657 - 08/31/00 01:35 PM orthographical differences
TEd Remington Offline
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Rhu (if I may address you informally):

That was absolutely hilarious.

But J was also avoided by L'Enfant when laying out the city of Washington, DC. The east-west streets are named A, B, C, etc. But there is no J street, either north of Constitution Avenue or south of it. One explanation I heard many years ago was that for political reasons no one wanted a street that might become associated with John Jay. Not certain there is any truth to it, but I can attest to the fact that there is no J Street in DC, nor has there ever been.

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#5658 - 09/01/00 04:44 AM Plural of virus
Bridget Offline
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>virus is by Latin definition a masculine noun<

Um. I learned Latin at school for (I think!) six years. LIke wsieber, I think you need to be careful to distinguish between the gender of a noun and its declension.

I also think you need to be aware that there are five different regular declensions of nouns in Latin. (I refuse to explore the question of exceptions to formal rules, since I don't remember enough!) Important in this instance is that two of these declensions have nominative singular ending in -us. So it is impossible to determine the plural from this nominative singular ending alone.

Like wsieber, I searched the web. (Those six years were a long time ago...) I typed 'latin noun' into yahoo.com, and the first match that came up was titled 'What's the plural of virus?' Synchronicity? Or just affected by everyone else having searched for it recently? Anyway, the link:

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

You can also follow the links on the first page of search results to get full details of the five declensions in all cases.


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#5659 - 09/01/00 09:43 AM Re: orthographical differences
RhubarbCommando Offline
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Rhu (if I may address you informally):
I have no problem with that, TEd - in fact I will answer to just about any name, if it precedes the well known phrase, " - - - may I buy you a pint?" (Come to think of it, the phrase is nothing like so well known as I would wish.)


> That was absolutely hilarious

Many thanks:
If you check out my given name, you may agree that everything I write or say, be it never so dull and drab, has to be, by definition (or definion,) Hilarious.

Is there any chance that Washington D.C. missed out J for reasons of religious sensitivity? The initial is used over here, occasionally, to denote the right-hand angle of our triangular deity.

I have to admit that it's more usually used to mean "joint", though.


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#5660 - 09/05/00 12:29 PM Re: Plural of virus
TEd Remington Offline
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>I also think you need to be aware that there are five different regular declensions of nouns in Latin. (I refuse to explore the question of exceptions to formal rules, since I don't remember enough!) Important in this instance is that two of these declensions have nominative singular ending in -us. So it is impossible to determine the plural from this nominative singular ending alone.

Bridget:

I thnk there are five different cases, nominative, genetive, dative, accusative, and ablative, within a declension. I honestly don't remember there being five declensions. I thought declining a noun was the act of listing the singular and plural cases for the noun.

But enough. I think we're beating a dead Horace!

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#5661 - 09/06/00 06:21 AM Re: Plural of virus
Bridget Offline
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>I thnk there are five different cases, nominative, genetive, dative, accusative, and ablative, within a declension. I honestly don't remember there being five declensions.<

There's also a vocative case, although it is only distinguishable from nominative in 2nd declension singular.
I think I learned the 'last' two of the five declensions in about my fourth year of Latin, so it's highly possible you never got to them (I think you said you did two years).

As for the point about Latin teaching grammar and sentence structure, I agree wholeheartedly. My study of Latin is also the only reason I can (or could) struggle through the articles of an Italian or Spanish newspaper and understand at least the subject under discussion even if not the finer points. Great for vocabulary.


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#5662 - 09/06/00 10:45 AM Re: Virii - why not?
cowboy Offline
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Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 6
Loc: Memphis (Shelby Co) Tenn
Actually, if you stick with the Latin, and the word virus has not been anglicized, the plural would be "viri," nominative, masculine plural.


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#5663 - 09/06/00 10:55 AM Re: Virii - why not?
cowboy Offline
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Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 6
Loc: Memphis (Shelby Co) Tenn
I just found this site, and I am thrilled. How exciting to find such a chat room. I love Latin, and set aside time each morning to study it.

Others wrote about declining nouns in Latin. Virus is a masculine noun and is declined as follows:
Singular = Nom Case Virus; gen case, viri; dative case,viro; accusative case = virum; ablative case = viro.

Plural: Nom. viri; gen = virorum; dat = viris; accusative = viros; ablative = viris.




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