I pride myself on my writing and editing; so I experienced a nasty shock when a friend asked for my help with the plural of “ethos.” I have wandered around the Web looking for Greek plurals, but I have found no examples that seems to fit “ethos.” I would like to learn a) the correct Greek plural for “ethos” and b) the proper English plural. Can someone help me?
English: AFAIK, there is no plural.
Greek: I guessed right! -oi
I believe it’s “ethoi” in both Greek and English, but don’t ask me for a cite…
Ahh, in the rhetoric of Aristotle the plural of ethos is ethe. When talking about multiple speakers of the same ethos one could say in a list; name me multiple speakers whose ethe is powerful etc…etc…
Cite from Communication Theory.
The correct Greek plural is beyond me and in my opinion is irrelevant when writing an English sentence. Constructing a plural of a word ending in S in English is as simple as adding es onto the end, hence I offer you ‘ethoses’ as your plural. And before anyone asks me, yes the plural ‘cactuses’ is perfectly acceptable english (for those of you who disagree, what’s the plural of ‘prospectus’).
You lot of ignoramuses! There are many different genera of Latin and Greek plurals, but the average English-speaker on the buses or on the campuses is not expected to know them all. If in doubt, use the regular English plural: “ethoses”. Otherwise, youll come up wth errata like “octopi” or “platypi”.
The American Heritage Dictionary doesn’t list a plural; the Merriam-Webster Unabridged lists the plural as “ethoses”.
ahem… it’s “octopodes.” You see, “octopus” is not a simple Latin word of the second declension, but a Latinized form of the Greek word oktopous. So it takes the Greek plural. NEENER NEENER NEENER.
I believe the point of the post was that “octopi” and “platopi” are not correct. In any event, “octopuses” is perfectly acceptable as well.
And if you’re singing that I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas song, “rhinoceroseses” is correct, too.
I thought Ethos was one of the Three Musketeers…?
Prospectus. With a long U.
I agree, it’s stupid to not use anglicised plurals for anglicised words.
Just to back Phlosphr up, a quick search indicates he’s right about ethe being the correct Greek plural.