[CentOS] Plurals in English (was Re: ClamAV reports a trojan)

Fri Apr 17 02:31:17 UTC 2015
Valeri Galtsev <galtsev at kicp.uchicago.edu>

On Thu, April 16, 2015 8:59 pm, Peter Lawler wrote:
> On 17/04/15 02:28, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
>> clamav is a scanner that is designed to detect viruses (virii I should
>> use
>> for plural as it is Latin word)
> I believe this 'rule' in English is misunderstood by many and as a
> general rule of thumb...
> tl;dr:
> Words from Old English that came into modern English, use 'Old English'
> pluralisation: eg, sheep, fish etc.
> words adopted from other languages into English before and after modern
> English established, use 'modern' pluralisation eg, tsunamis, octopuses.
> <rant>
> As 'virus' was adopted into English for usage in relation to bugs,
> malwares etc. after the formation of modern English, the plural of
> computer virus is computer viruses. IMO, in a medical sense, the virus
> was first described in the 1890 - well after the formation of modern
> English so even then the plural of virus in English is viruses.

Good, my intention was just to cause a few smiles ;-) But being not native
English speaker, I use it ("not native English speaker") as an excuse for
being unable to pronounce anything. Even names (most smiles are if the
excuse is used with respect with any NOT English name, say Chinese ;-)


> Reasoning: If one had to learn the pluralisation of every word adopted
> into modern English, then an English speaker would have to learn the
> pluralisation rules for far more than just English (see above re
> tsunami, octopus but also consider other non old English words such as
> emoji alligator mannequin boulevard cookie umbrella alcohol nadir etc.)
> For old English words, the pluralisation rules for them was set before
> modern English evolved into what we know today so those old rules still
> apply.
> All in all, makes it a lot easier to know how to spell English plurals.
> Some think opctopi is the plural of octopuses, when it wouldn't be
> because it's Greek and not Latin anyway...
> To whit: the belief many have that the English plural of virus is virii,
> when in fact if anything it'd be afaik viri - which it isn't.
> my 2c.
> Pete.
> [Authority: Platypuses, or Platypus - I believe the linguists are still
> out on that one - live near me ;) ]
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247