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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Today's Latin lesson:

Signed up for Capri racing today. The online form asks for University affiliation. All the graduates always fill in "alumni"...obviously incorrect as it's plural. As I am no longer staff, I went with "alum" (instead of my usual "alumnus"). Nico had to do one better: "alumna". I think she had help from dictionary.com.

On to the Latin lesson:

alum: An alumna or alumnus.

alumna: A woman graduate or former student of a school, college, or university. (plural=alumnae)

alumnus: A male graduate or former student of a school, college, or university. (pluarl=alumni).

Usage Note: Alumnus and alumna both come from Latin and preserve Latin plurals. Alumnus is a masculine noun whose plural is alumni, and alumna is a feminine noun whose plural is alumnae. Coeducational institutions usually use alumni for graduates of both sexes. But those who object to masculine forms in such cases may prefer the phrase alumni and alumnae or the form alumnae/i, which is the choice of many women's colleges that have begun to admit men.



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