hate to be a pedant, but the plural of ignoramus would be ‘ignorami’. in latin, nouns ending in ‘-us’ are almost all second declension nouns, which decline thusly: us, um, i, o, o/ i, os, orum, is, is.
unless it happens to be a fourth declension noun, which probably accounts for about 0.1% of nouns ending in ‘-us’. if it were, then the plural would be ‘ignoramus’ (pronounced ignoramoose.
it’s ok, i play sports and have friends too (a few).
But doesn’t the case also come into play? The furthest I ever got into declensions is German, which luckily has only the one set. But I thought that the suffixes (oh, boy, you can start on that one) are different depending on the case. In the conversation so far, both nominative and accusative are in play, I think.
yes – it does indeed bs2 – and nominative and accusative are both mentioned. however, i’m 99% sure that when these latin(ate) words are transliterated into english, only the nominative cases are used, whatever the role of the noun in the sentence, and singular/plural is the only distinction made.
(if it had been accusative it would have been ‘ignoramos‘ 8-})
and june – there was no doubt in my mind you were kidding – i was just taking your kid to a nice linguistic tangent.
i’m just one of those people who uses classical plurals at all costs, rorio. if you check the dictionary entry for the plural of octopus – it will give you ‘octopi’ as one of the possible plurals – when actually that’s completely false; the word ‘octopus’ is actually from the greek (‘-i’ is a latin plural ending), and the two accepted plurals are octopuses and octopodes. if the ‘-i’ ending is accepted then it’s from centuries of mis-use. look it up! so, rorio, whilst i encourage your healthy scepticism – i also think you ought to use it liberally and in a balanced way by also not believing everything you read on internet web-sites (although i did enjoy your short, snappy statement about how clever and cutting you are).
also, nota bene – junebug and i are friends – my intial comment wasn’t internet oneupmanship -merely me rambling in a long-winded fashion about a subject that i enjoy rambling about because i’m a geek.
@alordslums and others arguing about the plural of ignoramus
What you seem to be forgetting is that this is English, and rules in English are more like very lenient guidelines. Yes, it’s true, if ignoramus was faithful to its Latin roots, the most correct plural would be ignorami. However, common usage wins out, and most dictionaries will tell you that ignoramuses is the plural of ignoramus.