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moof's prattling

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March 25th, 2004

(no subject) @ 05:19 pm

Current Mood: confused confused
Current Music: Sinead O'Connor, Mandinka

I went to Office Depot today to get some uni-ball vision elite pens - my favorite pen I've found so far. Waterproof, smearproof, etc. Anyway, one of the computers had a screensaver that had in twirling 3D letters, "Bush in 2004!" I guess my impression was wrong - Bush really is the champion of the minimum wage worker.

And on an utterly random note: What's the Plural of 'Virus'?"
 
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From:livid
Date:March 25th, 2004 06:08 pm (UTC)
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I love uniball vision elites.

But I love Microns even more. :D

[too bad they're about $3 a pop.. doesn't keep me from buying them like a madwoman.]
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From:aceofkittens
Date:March 25th, 2004 06:41 pm (UTC)
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I have to confess that I read that first line as you going to Office Depot to purchase a new "penis."

;)
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From:kaligrrrl
Date:March 25th, 2004 10:10 pm (UTC)
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I'm a pilot precise extra fine rolling ball girl myself.
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From:futureboy
Date:March 25th, 2004 10:41 pm (UTC)
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The main character in "Haiku Tunnel"... His favorite pens are Uniballs.
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From:zunger
Date:March 26th, 2004 12:53 am (UTC)
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That's an interesting random note. And not one I had thought about, myself.

It seems to me that there are two natural ways out: Either to try to conjecture what a native speaker of classical Latin would have used for the plural of virus, or just abandon the whole thing and default over to the English plural viruses.

If we go with the former (since what's the fun in the latter?), I think the most convincing argument is that it goes as pelagus and cetus. The set of 2nd declension neuter nouns in -us is small enough that two identical cases is a good approximant to a rule. A well-educated native speaker would probably have hesitated between using virus and vire as the plural; a less-educated speaker would have probably shifted it like a 2nd-declension neuter and said vira, or tried to be fancy and said something silly like virora. I'd say that between virus and vire, the former is more tenuous simply since degenerate plurals only happen for mass nouns, and even those tend to develop plurals of kind after a while. (vide "peoples" in English - a word which I never heard when I was younger except as a joke on the language)

Even if virus doesn't have a Greek origin, given that its closest parallels in the language do, the plural form vire doesn't sound unreasonable - and it certainly sounds nice. (Besides, we do something similar in English with "VAXen" :)

Okay, this is now officially me avoiding both work and sleep. Perhaps it's time to go to bed now....

moof's prattling

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