Ignoramus

  An ignoramus is a word for a person without any intelligence, an extremely dumb individual. It is a pejorative term meant to be an insult. The plural is ignoramuses. Some dictionaries list ignorami as a variation of the plural, but this is a backformation by those who suppose since ignoramus comes from Latin that it would have the Latin -i plural. However, in the original Latin, ignoramus was a verb, not a noun, and would still have the -es plural. Originally it was as an … [Read more...]

Calumny

A calumny is a lie about a person told to ruin their character. It is also the name of the act of lying about someone. It is synonymous with slander. Though when someone is falsely accused of a crime, calumny is a more appropriate word. Its plural is calumnies. It also makes the adjective calumnious, the adverb caluminously, and the verb caluminate. The verb form appears as caluminated and calumniating, and makes the noun calumniation. One can also be a caluminator. Examples The Head of … [Read more...]

News

News is a mass noun which means information that is just received or significant somehow. It is also an adjective used to describe things and people which find information to share with others. It has no plural form. One could count items of news or news sources, but not news itself. News has a quite few derivatives, such as, newspaper, newscast, newsperson, newsworthy, newshound, newshawk, newsmagazine, newsletter, newsmonger, and the adjective newsless. A newshound or newshawk is a … [Read more...]

Youth or youths

Youth is the age range when a human is young, or before the person reaches adulthood. The word youth can also be used to describe a group of young people, regardless of age. It is also a common adjective for things that are created specifically for youth. Something can be in its youth if it is newly created. A youth is also a teenage boy or young man. Only this last definition has a plural form of youths. All other uses of the word are already plural or a mass noun. Sometimes it can be … [Read more...]

Letter names

Each letter of the English alphabet can be spelled as itself (e.g., a DJ or T-shirt) or it can be spelled out using its name (e.g., a deejay or tee-shirt). Vowels still stand for themselves, and while very rare, the plural of vowels are made by adding -es. In the capitalized form the plurals are made by either -s or -'s (e.g., L's or As). Spelling letters usually occurs in compound names or derivatives. These spellings are different than the phonetic alphabet used to distinguish similar … [Read more...]

Thesauri or thesaurusus

A thesaurus is a reference which allows a person to look up synonyms, and sometimes antonyms, for words or phrases. It comes from the Greek thēsauros, which meant a treasury. The adverbial derivative is thesaural. As with other word that have stayed largely unchanged from their origin in Greek or Latin, the Latin pluralization is correct, thesauri. However, as with other words that have been adopted into the English language for centuries, the English pluralization is also … [Read more...]

Addenda vs addendums

An addendum is an additional item, usually to a document or book. Commonly it includes omissions or other missing material from the original. The dictionary lists addenda and addendums as recognized plural forms of this word. Addenda is the original Latin plural. However, addendum has been an established English word since the mid-sixteenth century, and as such has taken on the English plural of addendums. Addendum also has a definition as an Engineering term. It is the radial distance … [Read more...]

Matrix

Matrix has many meanings. It can be a pattern created by lines crossing to make spaces. It can be a surrounding structure in which something develops. This can be a set of conditions, a situation, or an actual structure. A matrix is also a diagram showing the line of command in an organization. Another definition of matrix is a mold in which something is cast. In Mathematics it is chart of values that is treated as one entity and has certain rules. The plural form of matrix can … [Read more...]

Cause celebre

cause

A cause celebre is something that garners a lot of public attention, usually a famous incident or legal case. It literally means famous case in French. Also, In French it is spelled , but the accent marks are usually omitted in English, as shown by the ngram below. It is grammatically correct either way. The plural is causes celebres or causes célèbres. Examples The cases of Rojo and Slimani became Sporting’s cause célèbre of the summer, the hierarchy outraged at perceived … [Read more...]

Moose vs. mooses

A moose is a large animal with antlers that is found in the northern forests of America, Europe, and Asia.  It is of the deer family. The plural form is moose, not mooses or meese. Though Mooses is a surname. Nouns like moose and sheep, which do not change from their singular to plural form, are called invariants. They fall in the category of irregular plurals. Note: Invariant is not a grammatical term and can have a wider meaning. For terms like glasses and pants, which do not exist in … [Read more...]

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