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04-02-2013, 15:06   #16
Janey_Mac
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Sorry for snipping so much- excellent description of naturalisation!

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That's fine - so they are of interest to you because you're interested in linguistics (I assume). Does that mean they should be officially spelled that way too? Just so linguists can have something to discuss? Surely not! Languages are simply a vehicle for expressing thoughts. Their grammar and spelling is a functional, not artistic, part of that system.

Ideally the only acceptable plural of forum would be forums and a dictionary would state "Original Latin plural 'fora' ". This way interested parties could find out the word's history but regular people wouldn't need to know. English is fast becoming the world's lingua franca and it is out of our hands now. We need the lingua franca to be better structured.
I never said they should be spelled that way. I said I LIKED them, but that didn't mean they were right. In my earlier posts I said that common usage had made the standard English pural the acceptable plural form in almost all cases of borrowed words. I pointed out that foreign plurals are something I find interesting solely to show that just because a person has philological and pedantic tendancies and knows about the foreign language plurals and likes them, doesn't mean their English usage is more correct.

As for your desire for English to be better structured, and to have rules to remove all ambiguity regarding plurals (and probably all the other ambiguities too) I think the language has been doing just fine with ambiguity for a good long time now, and will continue to do so. Languages do not become the world's lingua franca because of how wonderfully systematic, unambiguous and regular they are, and if English continues to maintain the requirements for a lingua franca (which are largely political, social and economic rather than linguistic) then a lingua franca it will remain.
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05-02-2013, 11:37   #17
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While we are at it, could we restore "decimate" to it's original meaning - the execution of one in ten of an underperforming Roman Legion.
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05-02-2013, 15:48   #18
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I cant stand the word fora. It sounds so schoolmasterish.
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06-02-2013, 12:14   #19
spacetweek
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While we are at it, could we restore "decimate" to it's original meaning - the execution of one in ten of an underperforming Roman Legion.
I hate the way everybody misuses this word! Decimate does not mean to reduce to one tenth the size (90% reduction) - it means to reduce by a tenth (10% reduction.)
But you hear stuff like "The coast of Japan was decimated by the tsunami and earthquake" and in this context they mean that nearly every building was flattened.
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06-02-2013, 12:21   #20
Janey_Mac
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I hate the way everybody misuses this word! Decimate does not mean to reduce to one tenth the size (90% reduction) - it means to reduce by a tenth (10% reduction.)
But you hear stuff like "The coast of Japan was decimated by the tsunami and earthquake" and in this context they mean that nearly every building was flattened.
But if *everybody* misuses it, is it misuse? Or is it the new meaning of the word?
I mean, everybody goes around saying "silly" like it means stupid or ridiculous, instead of holy, but that doesn't bother anyone any more.
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07-02-2013, 12:31   #21
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But if *everybody* misuses it, is it misuse? Or is it the new meaning of the word?
I mean, everybody goes around saying "silly" like it means stupid or ridiculous, instead of holy, but that doesn't bother anyone any more.
Eventually whatever meaning becomes commonly accepted *is* the meaning of a word I would have thought, regardless of origins.
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07-02-2013, 13:07   #22
Janey_Mac
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Eventually whatever meaning becomes commonly accepted *is* the meaning of a word I would have thought, regardless of origins.
Exactly.
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07-02-2013, 13:23   #23
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Eventually whatever meaning becomes commonly accepted *is* the meaning of a word I would have thought, regardless of origins.
Indeed. Gay used to mean happy, now it means homosexual and it may change again to refer to an item or person as ridiculous or stupid, e.g. 'That chair is gay'. It is certainly attaining that meaning now in certain demographic subcultures but who is to say it won't develop further?
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13-03-2013, 13:52   #24
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There is a shopping centre in Galway with some display stands in the aisles (?? the bits that aren't shops), with signs reading "Please do not sit on the podiums". I am sometimes tempted to correct it to podia.
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22-05-2014, 00:38   #25
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There is a shopping centre in Galway with some display stands in the aisles (?? the bits that aren't shops), with signs reading "Please do not sit on the podiums". I am sometimes tempted to correct it to podia.
Not correct it, but change it. It's correct already.
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16-08-2014, 12:24   #26
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Not correct it, but change it. It's correct already.
Surely "podia" is the correct plural?
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16-08-2014, 12:26   #27
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1. While we are at it, could we drop "referendums" in favour of "referenda"?

2. Sad to see only about 100 took Latin for this year's Leaving Cert

3, Standards of English amongst journalists have declined ( oops nearly typed "decimated" there )

Last edited by nuac; 16-08-2014 at 12:33.
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16-08-2014, 14:52   #28
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Here's an interesting and balanced view:

Forums-forum-fora
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18-08-2014, 22:19   #29
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Surely "podia" is the correct plural?
one of them
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