In Italian, as in Latin, the letter i at the end of a word denotes a plural.  That means that, no, you are not “an alumni” of West Central North Jefferson Technical College, you are an alumnus (or an alumna, if you are a female) of that fine institution.  Alumni is the plural of alumnus (alumnae is the plural of alumna).

This also means that you did not have “raviolis” for lunch.  Ravioli is already plural.  So is spaghetti.  And macchieroni (a.k.a. macaroni).  And for the love of Sonja Henie’s tutu, panini! The next person who says “we had paninis for lunch” is getting clocked.

Think about the Magi who visited Jesus.  (One of them would have been a Magus.  Yes, like an Animagus.  Exactly like an Animagus.)  Think about the Illuminati.  Think about something, anything, in your sphere of understanding that has an i on the end for the plural, and generalize, people!

In a somewhat related vein:  those long, funny looking flowers on the altar in every Baptist church you’ve ever been in are not “gladiolas.”  There is no such word as “gladiolas,” much less “gladiola.” One such flower is a gladiolus, which means that a multiplicity of them are gladioli.  Like, well, Animagi.

Yes, like Animagi.  Exactly like Animagi.


About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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3 Responses to AAAAARRRRRGHHH du jour

  1. Cap'n Whook says:

    So, if half of an orchestra is tutu-clad, and the orchestra is performing more than one concerto, and every time the entire orchestra plays, the cello section is split into two different parts, and the tutu-clad players forget this every time, would Toscanini have turned red and yelled something like . . .

    “Divisi, tutti concerti tutti, tutti tutùi celli !!!!!”
    And please, it’s “paparazzo” for a lone celebrity photographer, not “paparazzi”!

  2. MarkD says:

    That is why the Europeans developed surnames and began to the first name, last name concept. They became confused when someone referred to Leonardo da Vinci and thought, “hmm his name is singular but he is from a plural place. Is he from the area around the town of Vincus or Vinca.”

    Then it got much worse when Michelangelo became more famous than Botticelli. See, some people thought Botticelli did not get his props because many thought he was the leader of a group of artists in the same way many real estate agents advertise together as a “team”. If we can just get the word out we could all go back to the good old days.

    Mark di Trussville

  3. Cap'n Whook says:

    I bet he thinks he got away with the crack about Baptists and gladiola. (Could be worse: Boston ferns around a plexiglass pulpit.)

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