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35

Some English words borrowed directly from other languages retain the plural form of the other language. For example, fermata is pluralized as fermate, and cirrhosis becomes cirrhoses. The most familiar examples are words taken directly from Latin, of which there are at least hundreds: persona / personae, matrix / matrices, fulcrum / fulcra, and so forth, ...


22

Latin grammar Latin has an inflected grammar, in which words change their form to indicate the role they're playing in a sentence. English has a little bit of inflection; Latin has a lot. For example, in English, these are all the possible forms of a verb: show, shows, showed, shown, showing. Most Latin verbs have about 150 different forms. These indicate ...


18

The basis for understanding Latin, Greek, etc. roots is to help you make an educated guess at the meaning of new words you encounter. Often, context will give you sufficient clues to guess the word's meaning, but not always. If you are familiar with roots and you can recognize the root of the new word, you can get a pretty good idea of its meaning even when ...


18

Both are correct, though there are some specific usages as pointed in another answer; Google Ngrams suggests that indices is slightly more used than indexes. For American English we have (in both charts, indices is blue and indexes is red): For British English we have:


16

Although the proper Latin plural would be fora, forum has been adopted into the English language--and in most cases follows the rules of English pluralization. Similar changes can be seen with the adoption of other words like octupus (the proper plural would be more like octopedes, but in English we usually say either octopi or octopuses). The current entry ...


16

WARNING: this is my opinion, but I consider myself educated on the topic. I was a straight-A Latin student for most of a decade, and geeking out over language and etymology is one of my hobbies. The correct counterpart is tabular. tabulatum, tabulati N N 2 2 N [XXXCX] floor, story; layer, row; tier formed by the horizontal branches of a tree; ...


14

Carefully avoiding terminal prepositions has been, for at least a generation, a dead letter. There are doubtless people my age who still practice it; but nobody except a few cranks think it a defensible ‘rule’. It survives in public consciousness largely because dogmatic ‘descriptivists’ enjoy using it as a stick to whack ‘prescriptivism’. There are, to be ...


13

Wiktionary lists re as a preposition that means “About, regarding, with reference to; especially in letters and documents”, while OED1 (1914) says: Re sb² [Ablative of L. res thing, affair.] In the matter of, referring to. The L. phr. in re is similarly used († formerly also = in reality). Re infecta, ‘with the matter unfinished or unaccomplished’,...


10

As snailplane pointed out in the comments, octopus is derived from Greek, and so the correct plural would be octopodes, not octopi. From Oxford Dictionaries.com: The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. The plural form octopi, formed ...


9

While some native speakers would be able to guess the meaning of libre from its context, particularly those who know Latin or Italian, others will not. If you said I want to be libre in a conversation with native speakers, probably most of them would not know what you mean.


9

For practical purposes, this meaning of pace is still a Latin word, not an English word. The English word "pace" is one syllable, and rhymes with the name of a playing card with just one pip. The Latin word "pace" is two syllables. According to Merriam-Webster's on-line dictionary, most English-speaking people do not know how to pronounce it. (At least ...


9

What it means The word pace is a Latin word, not an English word with a Latin root. For this reason, it’s usually written in italics when it occurs in an English sentence. It’s a form of pax, which is Latin for “peace”. Pace means “if so-and-so will permit” or “with deference to”, literally “with peace”. In English, it’s a softener for very formal ...


9

First, software is uncountable, so "a ____ software" is not correct. Either say: ____ software a piece of ____ software a ____ program This is a complex question. Here are some facts: Most English speakers do not commonly use the word gratis, but (I think) most people will probably understand what it means. Generally, when we talk about a zero-cost item, ...


8

OED states: Forms: Pl. indexes (also 16 index's) and indices /ˈɪndɪsiːz/ . Etymology: < Latin inde, indic-em, plural indicēs, the forefinger, an informer, sign, inscription. [...] In current use the plural is indices in senses 8, 9, and usually in other senses except 5, in which indexes is usual. And the respective senses are: (5): index ...


8

No, "libre" is not a commonly used English word. As others have said, some people might recognize an English cognate like "liberty," but many people will not. The word is used largely in the Free Software community to distinguish easily between zero-cost ("gratis") and free-as-in-freedom ("libre"), but outside of that particular community, the word is ...


8

"Sic," like so many things in academic English writing, is derived from a Latin phrase: sic erat scriptum, which translates to "thus was it written." It's typically used when quoting someone to denote a grammatical or other error in the quoted text, to specify that you did not make that error yourself as a writer. I'm surprised you've seen it so often on ...


8

From The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and The British National Corpus (BNC): COCA BNC octopuses 147 results 29 results octopi 44 results 11 results octopoda 4 results 0 results octopodes 2 results 3 results The most common plural is ...


7

I'd suggest "row-wise" or "by rows". As in "R stores a matrix in columnar fashion, while some other languages store them row-wise" (though I usually wouldn't usually use 'columnar' myself; I'd more likely say "R stores a matrix column-by-column" or something equally descriptive).


7

According to Oxford Dictionaries online,, "hippopotamuses" is the preferred plural. This article on oxforddictionaries.com deprecates "hippopotami" . (It also discusses "cactus" and a few other "-us" words.) Other dictionaries, such as Dictionary.com, offer both "hippopotamuses" and "hippopotami" as acceptable alternatives. (It depends on whether you ...


6

Per capita literally means "per head". It is used to be able to judge absolute size or numbers relative to population. If two countries A and B both let in 1000 immigrants, but A has 1 million inhabitants while B has 2 million, then we can say: Country A let in 0.001 immigrants per capita and country B let in 0.0005 immigrants per capita. This way ...


6

These words are 'borrowed' from Latin, which routinely performed elision and assimilation on prefixes with a final consonant when the consonant was sufficiently similar to the initial consonant of the root to which it was attached. The resulting word was spelled with a doubling of the remaining consonant. pre- + fix- ... no final consonant, so prefix ...


6

Personally, I have NEVER heard someone use "libre" as an English word. I had a little Latin in school so I know the meaning of the Latin word, and I suppose many English-speakers might guess the meaning as our word "liberty" derives from it. But you could say that about many foreign words -- someone who speaks language A might know or guess the meaning of a ...


6

SUPPLEMENTAL: Laure's answer is excellent, and describes formal use of this suffix correctly: -ble is used with transitive verbs to express capable or worthy of being VERBed. It should be noted, however, that in colloquial use—and even more in faux-colloquial writing such as advertising—there is a growing tendency to extend the suffix to ...


6

It would be fairly safe to say you can add -able to any verb that can bear the construction "can be + past participle" (this can be said → it is sayable), or as snailboat/plane pointed out all transitive verbs. But: 1- The suffix is not always spellable as -able. It will be spelled -ible with a few verbs whose common point is to have a Latin root. ...


6

Ending sentences with prepositions is controversial to some. This rule was taken from Latin, and that is probably the rule that you were taught. However, imposing rules of Latin grammar on English usage is nonsense. Sometimes it is correct to end a sentence with a preposition, but not always. You should avoid usage such as "Where are you at?" because "at" ...


6

There are two forms for the plural since forum came from the Latin (where its plural is fora) for public place. From checking with Ngrams, around the 1930s, forums took over fora.


6

Even one source will change its answer to a question such as this as time passes and language evolves. For example: The 1998 edition of Chambers Dictionary gives octopuses as the main answer, and lists octopodes as an archaic form. I know that earlier editions of the Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary did not have the 'archaic' annotation. Their web ...


6

At the beginning of a sentence, capitalize the first letter: E.g., a sentence like this one. Inside a sentence, both letters go in lower case: Both letters go in lower case, i.e., neither is capitalized. Capitalization for Latin abbreviations works the same as if you were to spell out the words (which no one ever does). They're not acronyms. The ...


5

Both indexes and indices are correct. A question like this can be settled by checking a good dictionary. I checked my answer by going to OneLook.com, a great starting point for many online English dictionaries.


5

No prepositions at the end of sentences? That is a rule up with which I shall not put.   ~ W. Churchill* somebody had to This has been well hashed out in its own right by the EL&U guys, and also dealt with in related questions such as this and this. (The latter link contains an awesome example sentence that ends in 5 prepositions ~ Mother, ...


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