On Sat, Apr 29, 2006 at 10:12:02AM -0400, [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> At 09:25 AM 4/29/2006, Jim Stapleton wrote:
> >Virii would be the correct spelling we biologists use, but viruses 
> >is standard in normal-people-speak, and gets the meaing across.
> Actually I was reading up on correct vs. common plurals after a 
> little debate around the office.  It would appear the 'ii plural or 
> virus is NOT correct.  See:
> http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/plural-of-virus.html
> http://dictionary.reference.com/help/faq/language/g63.html

I think virus is a second declension masculine noun, so its nominative
plural would be 'viri', but a plural form is not known from the extant
cannon of Classical Latin.  A complication would be that 'viri' is
already known as the nominative plural of 'vir' (man), also of the
second declension (I believe - my Latin was never up to much anyway, and
what with no Cardinals or Popes to practise conversational Latin, I have
forgotten most of it!).  Which is why the other form 'virii' is
occasionally seen, but again without precedent from Classical Latin, and
with no attestation in any dictionary.

This article at Wikipedia is pretty informative, if you like that kind
of thing!


Daniel Bye

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