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34

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 ...


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; ...


15

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’,...


11

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 politeness:...


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

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

"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 ...


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

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

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 sub- + ...


7

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 ...


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).


6

As others have said, either one is correct. Unfortunately, the problem goes far beyond this particular noun to pretty much all nouns of direct Latin descent. As people study Latin less and less, the use of Latin plural forms is slowly eroding. In general, the more a word has found its way into common usage, the more likely that the English plural has ...


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

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

Hippopotamus is a Latin word that has been imported into English. In Latin, its plural is hippopotami. In English, we sometimes still use the Latin plural. Like many unusual and interesting English words, it was first coined in Greek and later absorbed into Latin. In Greek, it was hippopótamos, with plural hippopótamoi. How to think about this Latin and ...


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 second ...


5

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 ...


5

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 ...


5

The word sic is probably used as an adverb here - sic (adv) - Intentionally so written (used after a printed word or phrase). You may observe this on chat and social media in the context wherein the opposite person writes it intentionally though knowing that the word is misspelled. When it is used in brackets it means so or thus to show that an odd or ...


5

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 ...


4

In my experience, gratis is not used on signs in the way that free often is. FREE APPLES One rarely hears gratis used in everyday speech in the US, although it is hardly unknown or unused. Gratis is above the grade-reading-level for most daily newspapers in the US. A publisher might send a teacher a gratis copy of a book. EDIT:As CarSmack reminds us, ...


4

RE or Re is just a prefix used before the subject line of a previous email message to mean the new message is a reply for a previous message. In a business letter, it introduces the subject that it is about. Re your letter of August 2


4

It would be hard to give a complete list of such rules of Latin grammar being applied to English, and there is still some degree of controversy on these matters. The simplest example, however, is the rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition. This is a hang-over from when Latin grammarians were adapting practices appropriate to Latin to English ...


3

As reflected in comments, there's no real "rule" here (though there's a tendency for -or to occur more often in words with Latin roots). So basically, you just have to learn them. But things aren't as bad as they appear. Not only is the -er form more common in established words - it's far more "productive" for new terms. Also, as RegDwight points out in ...


3

Evolve usually has a positive connotation. Evolution is usually thought of as making improvements or refinements. The Latin meaning of e-, “coming out”, is mostly forgotten, but lives on in evolve’s sense of “gradually realize a more perfect form”. Refinements can make a bad thing stronger, of course, like when a virus evolves or when an evil genius evolves ...


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