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Plural of 'Forum' - what is it?

  • 25-03-2007 12:20am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 3,699 InFront


    Sorry if this is the wrong forum, feel free to move...

    Some people say the plural of forum is 'fora'. I know the Latin says we have to say 'fora', but we're not speaking latin, we're speaking English, and forum is a word that has been adapted by the English language (not to mention given a new dimension in the context of the internet). However, we never agreed to adapt the latin grammar.

    So is 'forums' valid English, or does it reeally reeeeeally have to be 'fora'? I can't help thinking that 'fora' sounds a little bit pretensious, and whenever I see it I cringe a little.

    Please help:)


Comments

  • Administrators, Sports Moderators Posts: 21,962 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ smashey


    I use "fora". What do you use to pluralise "radius"?

    Spell Czechers ftw. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,485 ✭✭✭ Thrill


    smashey wrote:
    I use "fora". What do you use to pluralise "radius"?

    Spell Czechers ftw. :D

    Fora it is....

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=FORA


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,699 InFront


    They give forums too!
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/forums

    Going by the latin there's no doubt: it's fora.

    But if we apply the 'home language rule' so must cherub go to "cherubim", and Schnapps to Schnappsen and that's just weird.
    Can't we just keep our own grammar and borrow the word?


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 29,896 Mod ✭✭✭✭ randylonghorn


    I would tend to prefer "fora" (and "radii" and "cherubim") and I don't think I'm pretentious! :p

    That said, I have no problem with "forums", "cherubs" and "radiuses" ... though the latter is hard to say! :)

    As far as I know, all three words are correct; it's really a matter of preference.

    I think the reason we tend to often follow Latin rules for plurals etc. is that English has borrowed so heavily from that language, and has been influenced so heavily by it. I don't really think it's any kind of a "home language rule".


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,046 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    InFront wrote:
    Can't we just keep our own grammar and borrow the word?

    I suppose that is what will happen eventually.
    Or maybe not?
    Who the hell says "datum" anyway?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,316 Talliesin


    Forums and Fora are both allowed.

    Cherubs instead of Cherubim is allowed, but is a bit of a stretch.

    Radiuses is just bad English
    fly_agaric wrote:
    Who the hell says "datum" anyway?
    What other word would I use?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,046 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    Talliesin wrote:
    What other word would I use?

    I think peoople speak of "a piece/bit of data" rather than "a datum"...at least in my experience. So the original singular is probably going to die out.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 29,896 Mod ✭✭✭✭ randylonghorn


    Talliesin wrote:
    Radiuses is just bad English
    It's in the dictionary though as an alternate plural.

    I suspect an American influence, mind you ... :)


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