RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Thu Sep 6 21:48:56 UTC 2007

In a message dated 9/6/07 2:20:58 PM, s-mufwene at UCHICAGO.EDU writes:

> - Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2007 17:01:39 +0000
>   From: ronbutters at AOL.COM
>   Subject: Re: Another one bites the dust?
>    >Those of us who know (or care) about the
>   foreign-language plural forms for various loans
>   are in a minority. I personally chuckle when I
>   hear Duke English professors say "a criteria," but
>   I also chuckle at my own snobbery. I do not myself
>   use "datum" or "criterium" -- & I pronounce an
>   "-s" on "flower" to pluralize it, even though the
>   French generally do not.
>   >
>   Incidentally, the singular of "criteria" is "criterion"
> Sali.

As my comment suggested, the situation is more complex than this. Just to 
show how ridiculous it is to insist that there is a "right" plural (or singular) 
for any of these   loan words, note that there is in English a singular 
variant of CRITERION/CRITERIA: CRITERIUM, meaning a short bicycyle race, which comes 
to us by way of French. I assume the plural is CRITERIUMS? Or if we are being 
snobbish, should this one be CRITERIA as well?

 Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list