word modes

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word modes

Post by Archived Topic » Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:51 am

If I was to classify a group of expectations as if they were one of a bunch of different types, could I use the word "expecti"? Or, is that even the word I would use? "Expectae"? I don't know.

I am on my own here and I have no one else to turn to with a question so specifically linguistic.
Submitted by Aaron Soch (Guelph - Canada)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 5:05 am

Aaron, If you are talking about using ‘proper’ English, then you must follow the dictums or dicta of Standard English (dog/dogs, church/churches, buffalo/buffaloes, knife/knives, folio/folios, child/children, datum/data, . . .) and if you are not sure of a plural formation, consult a dictionary. On the other hand, if you are talking about coining a new word then you can do whatever you want to. If you are wondering if a word you are thinking about already exists, a good place to find out would again be a dictionary. If you use OneLook.com (see left side of page) you will find that neither of your suggestions do. I don’t quite understand why you would think that a special word should exist for groups of expectations. If you were to classify groups of cats, would you expect for there to be a special word for this other than ‘cats’? I think the best you can do in this situation, if you feel a burning need to do so, is call them “sets/groups/collections of expectations” – otherwise you can’t go wrong just call them ‘expectations.’
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Ken G – August 17, 2004


Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 5:20 am

Actually, I believe the collective noun for a group of cats is a clowder (a clowder of cats). I suggest that a group of expectations is a disappointment of expectations. ;-) (Sorry, couldn't resist!1)
Reply from Russ Cable (Dallas, TX - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 5:34 am

Russ, I think you are on the right track. In the same vein we have an ‘obstinacy of buffaloes’ and might I suggest ‘a prospect of expectations.’ And going off into the blue we have ‘an eruption of vulcanologists,’ ‘a déjà goo of leftovers,’ ‘a no-no of nannies,’ ‘an inflammation of arsonists,’ ‘a quantum of mechanics,’ and ‘a kvetch of hypochondriacs.’ It’s easy to get carried away with these guys!
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Ken G – August 17, 2004

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 5:49 am

Ken,
I can see nothing wrong with "a clutch of mechanics", but my favourite must be the well-worn "wunch of bankers".
On a (marginally) more serious note, I think you were right that Aaron is trying to find a word for groups of different types of expectations. I can see nothing against "expectation types" or "expectation sets" or something along those lines. Googling "expectation sets" suggests that it is indeed used in this meaning. There is to my knowledge no existing single word with the precise meaning required.
Reply from Phil White (Munich - Germany)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 6:03 am

Aaron, I like your idea: Make up new word

Ken: How about a pride of cats?

While we're at it, would "digeratus" be the plural of "digerati"?
Reply from dale hileman (Apple Valley, CA - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 6:17 am

Dale, How about a ‘finickulum’ of cats (I like it!) and ‘Digerati’ is already plural. So does that make the singular a ‘digerat’? And does that make the plural of Democrat, ‘Democrati,’ of carat – carati, of bureaucrat – bureaucrati, and of ziggurat – ziggurati (maybe that’s why they turned them into pyramids, but that could have been even worse – pyramarati! (<;)

Ken – August 22, 2004

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 6:32 am

Ken: Dig I say plural? I meant singular

I didn't have any luck Googling "finickulum" so I assume you were kiding; but I like it too. Foeniculum is fennel
Reply from dale hileman (Apple Valley, CA - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 6:46 am

A group of expectations could, of course, be an expectoration.
Reply from Phil White (Munich - Germany)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 7:01 am

Dale, I did coin that one. And Phil, I love it. And a police sweep of local groups of suspected-expectant (or is it expectant-suspected?) criminals might begin with the order, “Round up the usual suspectorations!”

Ken – August 23, 2004

Reply from Ken Greenwald (Fort Collins, CO - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 7:15 am

Lo, I get 661 hits on "wunch of bankers"

So thanks to Phil
Reply from dale hileman (Apple Valley, CA - U.S.A.)
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Post by Archived Reply » Thu Jan 03, 2002 7:29 am

A group of expectations is a maternity ward.
Reply from Edwin Ashworth (Oldham - England)
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