Another one bites the dust?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Sep 6 19:02:58 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,

It is, but how would that help?  It's not an association of one
alumnus.  So what you really want (given that _alumnorum_ is the
genitive counterpart of _alumni_, in the nominative plural rather
than genitive singular version) is an alumnorum association.  Good


>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'
>>>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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