kudo [sing.]


Not everyone would agree with Dex here. Quoting from Merriam-Webster’s:

Main Entry: ku·do
Pronunciation: 'kü-(")dO, 'kyü-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural kudos /-(")dOz/
Etymology: back-formation from kudos (taken as a plural)
Date: 1926
1 : AWARD, HONOR <a score of honorary degrees and… other kudos – Time>
2 : COMPLIMENT, PRAISE <to all three should go some kind of special kudo for refusing to succumb – Al Hine>
usage Some commentators hold that since kudos is a singular word it cannot be used as a plural and that the word kudo is impossible. But kudo does exist; it is simply one of the most recent words created by back-formation from another word misunderstood as a plural. Kudos was introduced into English in the 19th century; it was used in contexts where a reader unfamiliar with Greek could not be sure whether it was singular or plural. By the 1920s it began to appear as a plural, and about 25 years later kudo began to appear. It may have begun as a misunderstanding, but then so did cherry and pea.

I suppose you knew this was coming, Dex.

Ooops… there were sample sentences for both senses, but they are in angle brackets so your browsers probably won’t show them (mine doesn’t). Look them up in the HTML source if you need them :slight_smile:

Just because ignoramuses invent and use a word does not make it correct.

I also refuse to bend on “hopefully”, which means “full of hope” and is NOT a synonym for “I hope.”

I was probably the last hold-out on data being plural (“the data are…”) but I’ve finally had to give up on that one. Yes, the language changes, but I wish the changes weren’t so often degeneration.

Oh, please, Dex. If the information from Holg is correct, ‘kudo’ has been being used for something approximating 50 years now as a distinct word with an accepted definition. It’s not like it was ‘dis’ or even ‘disrespect’ or one of the other new-fangled terms that has made it into our language.

Language is the use of spoken sounds to communicate. ‘Correct’ grammar or word-usage is often a matter of dialect, taste, background, class, etc. If Dr. Laura uses ‘kudo’ and her listeners understand what she means, I hardly think that it is something that she should be terribly ashamed of.

Not meaning to disrespect you, of course. :wink:

No, she’d do much better being terribly ashamed about being incredibly rude to her listeners, even when they offer her praise. The fact that she usually mangles the rest of the English language in addition to plurals and non-plurals pales in comparison.


CK Dexter Haven:
Here’s some questions I’ve always wanted wanted to ask someone who holds out, saying that use of hopefullyas a disjunct is incorrect (e.g., “hopefully it won’t rain tomorrow”). How do you feel about:

frankly in “When I told you I was a millionaire, I lied, quite frankly.” Is this a contradiction?

sadly in “You never found that winning lottery ticket, sadly.” Who would be sad to find a winning lottery ticket?

simply in “Trigonometry is simply too hard for goats to understand.” Would the goats understand trig if it were more complex?

I’ve always wondered if the anti-hopefully caucus isn’t just sore at their 5th grade English teachers, and is taking it out on the rest of us. chuckle

Boris, to answer your questions, I would never use those constructions, because I think they are subject to misinterpretation.

  • “When I told you I was a millionaire, I lied” is sufficient. The words “quite frankly” are redundant, although an argument can be made for an understood phrase: "When I told you I was a millionaire, I lied, [but I am speaking] quite frankly [now].

“You never found that winning lottery ticket, unfortunately.”

“simply too hard” is just plain oxymoron.

Hey, if any word ending in -s can be plural, then today I had many success, and yesterday I had only one succ ?

Sorry to hear that CK. Maybe a new cologne?

(sorry, I just HAD to do that)

This is interesting, Dex. Do you realize that one could raise the same objection against “unfortunately” as against “sadly”? Finding that lottery ticket would certainly not be an unfortunate thing! The only difference between “unfortunately” and “sadly” in this respect is that the former is better established. And that brings the argument back to its beginning.

Why doesn’t the sentence mean, “It is sad (or unfortunate) that you did not find the winning lottery ticket”? Would it be right to say “You did not find the winning lottery ticket, happily.”? I don’t understand why the original sentence is incorrect.

Also, I’m surprised no one has mentioned that wonderfully bastardized word, irregardless.

And how about just plain mispronuciation of a simple word like Nuclear? Every time I hear a supposedly intelligent person say “Nucyuler”, I puke, and I’m tired of all the piles of puke around my house.


Well, that is exactly the point. I’m not sure about the grammatical terminology here, but the issue is whether adverbs such as “sadly”, “happily” etc. necessarily always refer to the nearest verb (“find”, in this case) or whether they can modify the entire sentence. Some strict grammarians say the former, but those who base their opinion of right or wrong on actual usage tend to say the latter.

As for “nucular”, “irregardless”, etc., I hope we’re not compiling long lists of people’s pet peeves now…

Okay, so the terms I should have used are “adjunct” and “disjunct”. Quoting Merriam-Webster’s again:

Interestingly (disjunct alert!), they use “luckily” as a disjunct in one of their examples.

Yes, you’re right, Holg, I misspoke on “unfortunately.” The sentence should properly be: “It is unfortunate that you lost the winning lottery ticket.”

How about basis? Ends in -s, must be plural. I have many basis for my conjecture; I have only one basi for my conjecture. (But succ is funnier.)

I’m not against the language evolving, but I am against sloppiness and unnecessary changes that cause words to vanish. Mere longevity of use does not condone – very few people will consider “ain’t” to be appropriate formal usage, although it’s been around a long time.

“Gay” is a good example. Having now become a word designating sexual orientation, we have lost the use of the word “gay” to mean happy or merry. Neither “happy” nor “merry” convey the same emotional state as “gay”. One can’t say, “My, what a happy dress!” A word is lost and not replaced.

The use of adverbs instead of simple noun-verb is, IMHO, an attempt to sound more couth, more educated. Saying “hopefully” instead of “I hope” is supposed to sound more genteel – kind of like people who say “between you and I”, thinking it’s more formal or more proper. Bah! Hambourg! says I.

Dex, you can still say, “My, what a gay dress!” You just have to be careful who you’re saying it to! :wink:

I disagree. While you may be correct in quibbling with the usage of an adverb in place of an adjective, I don’t think you can call this example oxymoronic, as it’s clear that “simply” is modifying “too hard,” it is not modifying whatever it is that “too hard” is modifying.


Fair enough, Veg… but “simply an oxymoron” was my little joke (yes, ok, very little.)


That argument is being made. By me. That was the whole point of bringing up the disjunct. It seems like you have more or less agreed with me on my “frankly” and “sadly” examples, although then you seemed to take back your disjunct usage of “unfortunately”, so frankly I am still simply confused, sadly.

As to whether or not it sounds more genteel, I hadn’t thought of that. I just thought it was an attempt to save time and syllables, just as I have always thought that adverbs themselves are an attempt to save syllables. After all, it would be quite logical to say, “I say, in a manner which is full of hope but perhaps not prescience, aformentioned lack of prescience having an unfortunate character, that it will not rain tomorrow.” I just don’t have that kind of time!

Frankly, I think everybody who has participated in this thread simply deserves a kudo.