Another one bites the dust?

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Sep 6 18:47:53 UTC 2007

I don't really care for the English plural, either, but they are so
common (e.g., shareholders meeting), they don't seem so bad.

I can see a case for using "alumni association" if the genitive of
alumnus is alumni, otherwise what bothers me other than just sounding
odd is that a college-educated organization should have a higher
standard than a homeowners association. BB

Laurence Horn wrote:
> 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'
> Association").
> LH
>> 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 -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list