2139: "Email Settings"

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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:13 pm UTC

Also, in English, there are irregular nouns that aren't pluralized that are a completely different category than mass nouns.

For example, Sheep are clearly discreet, countable entities, but we just on't have separate plural and singular forms. ("One sheep" makes sense in a way "one duration" doesn't.)
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:21 pm UTC

"One duration" makes sense to me; a duration being a period of time.
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby orthogon » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:20 pm UTC

I prefer to mis-analyse emoji as a Latin plural and backform the singular emojus. The backformed Italian singular emojo has something going for it too, but ought really to be spelled emogio.
Last edited by orthogon on Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:39 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:49 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:"One duration" makes sense to me; a duration being a period of time.
Fair enough, it makes a kind of sense, as an abstract. But think about the sentence "three sheep were in the petting zoo for four durations.", one wants to ask, which durations? Years, days, hours? There's no real question of how many sheep three is.
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby ucim » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:43 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:But think about the sentence "three sheep were in the petting zoo for four durations.", one wants to ask, which durations? Years, days, hours? There's no real question of how many sheep three is.

Three patients needed four units of blood apiece.

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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby orthogon » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:38 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:But think about the sentence "three sheep were in the petting zoo for four durations.", one wants to ask, which durations? Years, days, hours? There's no real question of how many sheep three is.


Duration is still countable though, in that usage, if we permit it (which I'm not sure about, myself -- I'm hovering over the linguist's asterisk. OTOH I'd be completely happy with "please specify the durations of the meetings").

The question of how long a duration has nothing to do with whether it's countable and everything to do it not being specific. I could change the example to "three animals were in the petting zoo..." and say "one wants to ask, which animals? Sheep, horses, zebras?"
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:18 pm UTC

It's vague because in order for it to make sense, we're assuming something is implied.

If we see "<number> <uncountable thing>" and want to make any sense of it, we make it "<number> [implied unit] of <uncountable thing>". The implied term is necessarily completely vague, as it's not there. The word "duration" itself is completely specific for it's intended purpose, it's just that it's purpose isn't describing the size of durations.
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:32 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Fair enough, it makes a kind of sense, as an abstract. But think about the sentence "three sheep were in the petting zoo for four durations.", one wants to ask, which durations? Years, days, hours? There's no real question of how many sheep three is.

The four durations were Monday afternoon, all day Wednesday, just the lunch hour on Thursday, and finally the entire weekend. Then the sheep were flown back to their home in Scotland, so you've missed out on seeing them.

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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby xtifr » Fri May 03, 2019 5:43 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
Soupspoon wrote: emojii (emojen/emeji?)

It's a Japanese loanword, so "emoji" is both the singular and the plural form.

English doesn't (exactly) work that way. When we "borrow" a word*, we may or may not borrow its pluralization rules as well. Thus "radiuses" and "radii" are both acceptable, but "radiuses" is far more common. Likewise, "ninjas" is a perfectly acceptable word in English even though it's not in Japanese.

I suspect that "emojis" will come to dominate, but there may not be enough data to make an official determination yet.

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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri May 03, 2019 5:49 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:we may or may not borrow its pluralization rules as well [...] but there may not be enough data

I see what you did there.
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Archgeek » Fri May 03, 2019 6:32 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
Soupspoon wrote: emojii (emojen/emeji?)

It's a Japanese loanword, so "emoji" is both the singular and the plural form.

English doesn't (exactly) work that way. When we "borrow" a word*, we may or may not borrow its pluralization rules as well. Thus "radiuses" and "radii" are both acceptable, but "radiuses" is far more common. Likewise, "ninjas" is a perfectly acceptable word in English even though it's not in Japanese.

I suspect that "emojis" will come to dominate, but there may not be enough data to make an official determination yet.

* After pursuing the language down a dark alley, as per James Davis Nicoll.

How about we just put all the emojii on an island and call it emojima? Then make them fight to the death for some reason as a weird social commentary on the societal pressures of the interwebs...
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon May 06, 2019 8:02 am UTC

xtifr wrote:"radiuses" and "radii" are both acceptable, but "radiuses" is far more common.

Really? I get that "radii" is like 150 times more common than "radiuses" in modern books and used to be even more overwhelmingly preferred.

But there are other examples, like "nexus" which we usually pluralize "nexuses" not "nexus," and "bonus," whose plural is "bonuses," not "boni."

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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby da Doctah » Mon May 06, 2019 10:13 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
xtifr wrote:"radiuses" and "radii" are both acceptable, but "radiuses" is far more common.

Really? I get that "radii" is like 150 times more common than "radiuses" in modern books and used to be even more overwhelmingly preferred.

But there are other examples, like "nexus" which we usually pluralize "nexuses" not "nexus," and "bonus," whose plural is "bonuses," not "boni."


What gets me is when the same person uses both English and classical plurals of the same word, even in the same sentence. I once heard a DJ on a classical station announce "we just heard a couple of concerti from the Brandenburg Concertos".

(BTW, if you and a friend each drive a Prius, I've decided the plural should be "Priora", after the model of "corpus" and "tempus".)

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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon May 06, 2019 11:33 am UTC

It's also just too complicated to keep track of the Latin declension. "Genus" is third declension and has genitive singular "generis" and nominative plural "genera." But "genius," which comes from the same root, is second declension and has genitive singular "genii" and the same nominative plural. And of course, the plural of "genitive" (same root again) is simply "genitives" in English.

I am a strong believer in using standard English plurals whenever reasonable. Some terms like "alumni" and "cacti" are probably entrenched, but we really don't need "octopodes" or whatever.

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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby svenman » Tue May 07, 2019 9:04 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:What gets me is when the same person uses both English and classical plurals of the same word, even in the same sentence. I once heard a DJ on a classical station announce "we just heard a couple of concerti from the Brandenburg Concertos".

In this context, the word concerto would be borrowed from Italian, though, and concerti would be the Italian plural form, not a Latin one. Of course, this Italian plural form is directly descended from the Latin one, and the inconsistency still remains in principle, just not directly related to a classical language (only to classical music).
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue May 07, 2019 10:12 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:What gets me is when the same person uses both English and classical plurals of the same word, even in the same sentence. I once heard a DJ on a classical station announce "we just heard a couple of concerti from the Brandenburg Concertos".
But "Brandenburg Concertos" is a proper name, so it's not actually pluralized at all by the speaker. Likewise, if the collection could have been named (in English) "Brandenburg Concertivitis", a person referencing would generally repeat this stupidity.

Unless "Brandenburg Concerti" is also common?

Also I find it humorous the the process to translating to English changed "concerts" to "concertos".
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby GlassHouses » Tue May 07, 2019 10:55 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
da Doctah wrote:What gets me is when the same person uses both English and classical plurals of the same word, even in the same sentence. I once heard a DJ on a classical station announce "we just heard a couple of concerti from the Brandenburg Concertos".

But "Brandenburg Concertos" is a proper name, so it's not actually pluralized at all by the speaker. Likewise, if the collection could have been named (in English) "Brandenburg Concertivitis", a person referencing would generally repeat this stupidity.

Unless "Brandenburg Concerti" is also common?

Also I find it humorous the the process to translating to English changed "concerts" to "concertos".

Well, "Brandenburg Concertos" is a translation of "Brandenburgische Konzerte," which, itself, isn't the original title of the work either. Bach himself called it "Six Concerts Avec plusieurs Instruments" in the original dedication, writing in French as was the custom in cultured circles at the time, even in Germany.

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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Archgeek » Wed May 08, 2019 2:36 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:[...]if the collection could have been named (in English) "Brandenburg Concertivitis", a person referencing would generally repeat this stupidity.

"Concertivitis" sounds like some kind of made up disease of the orchestra pit used to sell strange tinctures to concert hall building managers.
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed May 08, 2019 2:48 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:["Six Concerts Avec plusieurs Instruments"
Which is why the whole journey is "Concerts" to "Concertos", when going from Germany to the anglosphere. Granted, the whole journey makes sense, I just find it funny that when shortened to one step it's exactly ass backwards.
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Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

Postby Old Bruce » Wed May 08, 2019 7:20 pm UTC

Archgeek wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:[...]if the collection could have been named (in English) "Brandenburg Concertivitis", a person referencing would generally repeat this stupidity.

"Concertivitis" sounds like some kind of made up disease of the orchestra pit used to sell strange tinctures to concert hall building managers.

You know I think that was the plot of a TV series back in the '80s.


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