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Wednesday's Word: Plurals & Grammars

There are rules for pluralizing words. With every rule, comes exceptions. Two exceptions I've run up against recently had me googling the answers.

I'd rather research than make a mistake. Some people might think that makes me a grammar nazi. I prefer the term Grammar Champion. I am a champion for the cause of good grammar. I am encouraging and positive in my pursuit of better speaking and writing skills, for myself and for my friends. And I uphold the value of both Prescriptive and Descriptive grammars.

I could go on. Even writing these two paragraphs is making me wonder where all my notes are from my History of the English Langauge class. Best course I ever took. (Read about the prof's work on Chaucer here.) Topics ranged from Middle English to the Great Vowel Shift (it's a real thing, folks!) to the Norman Invasion and the Evolution of Taboo Words.

(happy sigh)

Now I have to wrap this up. Somehow. How about a challenge - the same challenge that started my thoughts on grammar: what are the correct pluralizations for criteria and millenium? (no googling allowed!)

Comments

nadine said…
I don't know how to write without Google.

Criterion

and...

No clue. I would restructure/rewrite it to avoid the word :)
Vanessa said…
Millennium?
Millenia? (that last one is getting the red underline leading me to believe that is incorrect.)
Katie V. said…
Criteria is the plural (criterion is the singular). Millenia is the plural.

Am I right???
Silas said…
millennia is the plural. two n's i think. just like there are two n's in the singular.

and wrt criteria, i agree with katie!
Beth said…
katie wins!

your prize is....knowing that you also are a grammar champion. :D
Deepak said…
I didn't look at the other posts.
But isn't criteria the plural for criterium?

And the plural for millennium is millennia?

from,
John
Katie V. said…
yay! Bragging rights, my favourite!
Jill said…
I too first thought "criterium," probably because it was next to "millennium" and, thinking the plural of that word was "millennia," my first (wrong) instinct was that both words were structured the same.

Interestingly, my browser spell check is not detecting "millennia" as a word and so now I am heading over to Dictionary.com . . .
I couldn't resist commenting on this post.

Sometimes, I turn into a Grammar Vampire:

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0679418601/ref=sib_rdr_dp

a very funny book!!
I also think it is interesting that the word "grammar" is like the word "water", there are two forms to indicate more of it,

i.e., "I need to study more grammar," and "That bookshelf is full of grammars."

Having studied them in New testament Greek class at seminary,I am now a big fan of participles, reveling in building up clause after clause, elaborating my ideas in flowing Ciceronian prose, making a point with emphasis, and.....uh, stuff

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