James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Fri Apr 23 01:05:43 UTC 2010

I have just discovered (it may not be news to all of you) that some
people pluralize Elvis as Elvii. (23,600 Google hits.)

Which, aside from showing that the -is ending is thought of as the
same as the -us one, manifests yet again the conception (which I have
the impression of seeing more lately, but I have no real evidence
that it's becoming more popular) that the plural of -us is -ii. I'm
guessing this is another instance of assuming the more marked form
must be the more correct.

Or, as my wife says, "Two i's just looks more erudite." I said "Four
eyes looks more erudite, but you don't write four..."

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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