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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Militant Grammarians Unite!

And now for another grammatical question that popped up the other day: What is the plural of impetus?

I found the answer from my trusty friends over at Dictionary.com. The plural of impetus is impetuses. However, the general rule for words ending in -us is to drop the -us and add -i.

Other words that end awkwardly so that pluralizing becomes fraught with uncertainty and self-doubt?

Syllabus - The plural can either be syllabuses or syllabi.
Hippopotamus - The plural can either be hippopotamuses or hippopotami.
Truss - The plural is trusses. Words that end is -s are pluralized by adding -es generally.
Sheep - The plural is sheep. This belongs to the bizarro group that the singular and plural are the same.
Goose - The plural is geese. Ditto to sheep.

2 comments:

K_Streams_Her_C said...

Ummm, not trying to be a perv but have you ever looked up the plural of "penis" or "vagina" — kind of crazy stuff, dude.

The Crow said...

I have not. What are they? My guess is penises and vagina.