plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

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plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by JANE DOErell » Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:55 pm

I just noticed that several dictionaries list the plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados. As kids we were taught that when alternatives were listed the first was preferred. Is that still the case?
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:44 pm

Dan Quayle might put it: "You say tornado, I say tornadoe".
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Phil White » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:28 pm

Merriam Webster separates a preferred form from a secondary form by "also" and two equally preferred forms by "or".

Neither the Shorter OED nor the Collins Complete state their principles.

Although I would make the same pragmatic assumption as you, I would not rely on it.
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Phil White » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:19 pm

Erik_Kowal wrote:Dan Quayle might put it: "You say tornado, I say tornadoe".
So what does being able to spell 'potato' actually benefit a person? Seriously?
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by marie26 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:53 am

The above link was quite interesting. It is the most powerful argument for doing one's spelling homework that I can recall. The political firestorm that ensued, always confused me, however.
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:28 pm

My take on it is that Quayle had already established a reputation for putting his foot in his mouth numerous times and had been the butt of a notoriously crushing put-down (Lloyd Bentsen's debate jibe, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy"), so his obvious and humiliating spelling gaffe was just the thing that commentators and opponents alike were able to seize upon to ridicule him, underscore his apparent intellectual weakness, and seemingly demonstrate his perceived propensity to be out of his depth and unfit for high office.

I will leave it to others to judge the extent to which subsequent US administrations have improved on Quayle's performance and reputation.
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Phil White » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:50 pm

I actually have a great deal of sympathy with politicians of all colours. To be put on the spot constantly and have every word you speak monitored, to be expected to have an answer to any question thrown at you and at the same time remember what state/county, indeed country you are in, must be taxing beyond all belief.

If we are to believe some reports, the flashcard he was holding was also misspelled, and I'm not at all sure that it would not have thrown me, who regards himself as a good spellar.

Much of the other drivel that came out of his mouth was no worse than from any other politicians.
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:22 pm

There is a great deal of truth in your comments, Phil. What sane, normal person would willingly seek a position in which they were constantly exposed in the way you describe?

On the other hand, there are certainly many individuals with rebarbative and/or abnormal personalities (the psychopaths, manipulators and narcissists) who enter the political arena for reasons that have everything to do with venality and nothing to do with public service. For the sake of the proper functioning of our democracies, such people need to be rigorously uncovered and rooted out.

Unfortunately, well-intentioned politicians with less reason to hide their activities, or who make spectacular gaffes, can also become casualties of the scrutiny of journalists and gossip-mongers, with the result that many ordinary people with the potential to be good public servants find themselves shuddering at the thought of subjecting themselves and their backgrounds to being picked over in public. They will also have to contend with the ignorance, stupidity and mental laziness of many voters whose frequently-petty, misinformed preoccupations have a tendency to derail the initiatives of even the best policymakers.

The result: politics attracts disproportionately many opportunist rogues, and deters many honest, competent people.
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:09 pm

Withdraw that remark, you upstart, or I'll send you the bill for the battlefield.
As surely as my name is Rufus T. Firefly.
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:29 pm

Send me that bill, and I'll send you a nine-bob note in return. ;-)
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:42 am

Phil White wrote:I actually have a great deal of sympathy with politicians of all colours. To be put on the spot constantly and have every word you speak monitored, to be expected to have an answer to any question thrown at you and at the same time remember what state/county, indeed country you are in, must be taxing beyond all belief.
.. this has become a major debate in Aus following our recent federal Election .. many people have observed that the "media" in general was salivating at the prospect of any politician, but especially a high profile poli, misplacing a word or not being able, at the drop of a laptop, to expound on the most esoteric of policy details .. it was generally held that this hyping was at the expense of reporting the genuine policy positions of the individual parties and candidates .. asking too many "political" questions rather than "policy" questions ..

.. I do wonder though if it would be possible in the UK, USA, Cananda or even say India for an unmarried living-in-sin, childless, openly declared foreign atheist to become the leader of any of those countries .. I wonder ????

WoZ who wanted hung politicians rather than a hung parliament
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:19 pm

Wizard of Oz wrote:I do wonder though if it would be possible in the UK, USA, Cananda or even say India for an unmarried living-in-sin, childless, openly declared foreign atheist to become the leader of any of those countries I wonder?
Only if they are Welsh WoZ, only if they are Welsh!

Joking aside, I see that the lady's party is called the Labor Party, but that you will shortly be celebrating Labour Day, is Labour U or Non-U in Oz now?
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by marie26 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:27 am

WoZ who wanted hung politicians rather than a hung parliament
I beg to differ WoZ. I only care that they are endowed with brains. What else they are packing is their own,or their significant other's problem. ***tisk tisk***
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:09 pm

Didn't Bond kill Cananda?
Personally, returning (almost) to the original subject, I'd prefer a tournedos Rossini.
Or even two tournedos Rossinis.
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Re: plural of tornado as tornadoes or tornados

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:36 am

Bob asked:

is Labour U or Non-U in Oz now?
.. still non-U .. although if the U was for Union then it is very much flavour of the donation ..

WoZ who still wishes the Sex Party had the balance of power
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

End of topic.
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