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Why isn't the plural "diplomae"? --Mrcolj 20:55, 8 December 2008 (UTC), Latin Teacher
- Thanks. It is now shown as alternative plural. But the "-s" plural is used so much more (10,500 vs. 165 raw hits at books.google.com) that "diplomae" would probably be considered affected in English. DCDuring TALK 23:53, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
- Diplomata has 2.1M hits on google. I haven't found a good way to figure out how many of those are English websites. But plenty of sites saying diplomata is "the classical plural," akin to stigmata being the plural of stigma. I don't know, but I'm a licensed Latin teacher who makes diplomas for a living! --Mrcolj 16:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
- I should pipe in further: if it's Greek, the plural of diploma should be diplomai, no? The counter-argument would be that diploma is already derived from diplomon, i.e. that it's basically already a plural participle of the verb "to fold over," therefore meaning "letters having been folded over." So how to plural a plural is always a fight (from bacterium to bacteria to bacteriae, as in person to people to peoples.) So I would still vote diplomae, except that Pliny used the word "diplomata" (and later "diplomatibus" which is another clue.) Any greekists here want to comment? --Mrcolj 16:29, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
- Okay, it's neuter, so that's where they go from "diploma, diplomatos" in Greek to "diplomata." It's just a neuter that ends with an -a in the nominative singular. And who cares what the plural in Latin would be, since we have no record of a Latinist conjugating it as a Latin word, but as a greek word in Latin (like an American saying "burrito.") So we're back to where we started. Diplomata is correct, diplomae has no grounds, and diplomas is pretty. So someone defend diplomae before I get too sure of myself!--Mrcolj 16:34, 6 April 2009 (UTC)