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Re: Plurals (was Re: *SPOILERS*Re: LW STEGOSAUR TAIL)



At 07:17 AM 5/13/97 -0700, you wrote:
>> One of the T rexes (just what is the plural? rexes? rexs?)
>
>_Rex_ pluralizes as _reges_.
>

Th. Holtz wrote: 

"BUT

T. rex, as a proper name, is never plural.

(Plurals are okay for "common" or vernacular names, but these haven't been
standardized for nonavian dinos, although "king tyrannosaurs" or "king
tyrant lizards", or just "tyrannosaurs" might suffice)."

This puzzles me a bit.  It would seem to me that given the usual wide latitude 
in English, we could use the proper name with a "Saxon" plural, or we could 
treat it as Latin and use that language's (nominative) conventions.  Now if the 
nomenclature people have not standardized plurals in this context, it ought to 
be all right to fall back on other conventions, it seems to me.  In any case, if
you say "There were two T rex," you are using a de facto plural anyway, namely 
the zero grade as in 'sheep'.  I think people are probably safest with "Saxon" 
plurals, as in, " 'Jesus' was a common name in ancient Palestine.  There may 
have been hundreds of Jesuses contemporaneous with the famous Nazarene."  
Besides, if we had a couple of drinks first, I think we could whip these 
nomenclature guys good.  So I reckon we ought to continue doing as we please. 

"or just "tyrannosaurs" might suffice)."

I don't know ...  Suppose a paleoanthropologist wrote, "Everyone of us was 
transported with unparalleled excitement when we discovered two Homo erecti at 
our dig site."  If the "Saxon" plural were used with just the genus name, this 
could be seriously misleading.   

Richard Dieterle

I've played left field.