I-66 Points: Back to school

Christmas is a scant three days hence, and I still have one gift to acquire, and I haven’t wrapped a thing. I’m not letting that stress me out though, since I know people who are worse off than I am. Instead, I’m in even more of a giving mood.

One thing that really grinds my gears is poor spoken grammar. Yeah, I’m a little bothered when I see the incorrect form of there/their/they’re written, or the inappropriate ’s, but I’m more bothered when I hear things like “could care less” or “irregardless” used. For some strange reason, the one thing that bothers me most is the word “alumni” used in singular form. If I hear someone say “soandso is an alumni” of some school, a little part of my brain dies. You cannot be an alumni. Even the word “alum” is acceptable, even though it’s a lazy shortening of the proper form. So, as a test of your knowledge, 2 I-66 points go to the person who can correctly answer any of the following using the proper form of the word “alumni.” Same rules as usual.

1) _________ – singular, male

2) _________ – singular, female

3) __alumni__ – plural, male or combination of male and female

4) _________ – plural, female

I-66 Points - Back to school

8 Responses

  1. I had no idea there were gender differentiations for this word. I like learning new things.

    That means you’re not allowed to learn anything else new today.

  2. plural, female – alumnae

    Welcome to the competition.

  3. 1) Alumnus – singular, male

    Why am I not surprised that you are answering one of these?

  4. 1, Alumnus
    2. Alumna
    4. Alumnae

    You’re late on 1 and 4, but #2 is yours.

  5. 1) Alumman
    2) Alumnette
    3) Lady Alumni

    I think you left out aluminum.

  6. “grinds my gears”…

    Okay, Peter. :-)

    I can’t believe nobody else mentioned that.

  7. how do you feel about people who end sentences in prepositions? b/c i try not to do that, but it’s really hard.

    I tend not to do it. I didn’t even notice it until an English teacher pointed it out to me. Sometimes it sounds weird (e.g. a beat you can dance to / a beat to which you can dance), but for the most part I don’t leave my prepositions dangling.

  8. I am so very, very sad to have missed out on answering this question before others did. This is one of my favorite pieces of grammatical knowledge. I mean it. I like to feel smart & beat people on this one. Yes, I am a grammar jerk.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who enjoys knowing this particular piece of information. I can’t remember where I learned it, but I do love using it.

Leave a Reply