Another one bites the dust?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Sep 6 17:59:05 UTC 2007

At 10:36 AM -0700 9/6/07, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>These items generally don't bother me, but "alumni association" really
>does. It sounds silly to me that a group of people who are
>college-educated belong to an organization with such a name. I never got
>past beginning adjective declensions in Latin, so maybe there's a reason
>for using "alumni", but it seems odd to me. BB

Well, the Latin plural for the noun (it wouldn't be an adjective
here) would be alumnorum.  But why would an ordinary plural noun be
out in this context?  After all, we often have groups like a
"Homeowners Association" or "Taxpayers Society", typically construed
as a regular plural and not a plural possessive ("Homeowners'


>Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
>>I agree. The examples are best taken from conversation without
>>being elicited.  Btw, I'm pretty sure I've also heard "an alumni."
>>Gerald Cohen
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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