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The evil 'ii'.

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The evil 'ii'.

Postby furrykef » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:39 pm

Anybody else here get utterly sick of people forming pseudo-Latin plurals by adding -ii? Example: virus -> virii, or even worse, penis -> penii. It's always got on my nerves... now, it doesn't bother me that people form humorous plurals by analogy. What bothers me is they do it on an analogy that doesn't even exist. There's no word where -us (or especially -is) becomes -ii; that only happens with -ius (radi-us -> radi-i). Sheesh, I realized this years before I ever considered studying Latin!

Y'know what put me on this rant, though? Even the game Rome: Total War got this wrong. The game is peppered with real quotes from Romans (sometimes with the Latin, sometimes without), but then they went and called the primary clans -- led by people named Julius, Brutus, and Scipio -- the Julii, Brutii, and Scipii. Face, meet my friend Palm.
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby Hampie » Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:29 pm

I think it’s because it’s pretty easy to pronounce, and sound very ’cool’ in English. Two Is become ee-eye, whereas one I becomes somewhat less appealing with is short little I in the end. Brutii sounds more latin and exotic and cooler than Bruti.
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby rustymason » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:16 am

Reminds me of how some use the German "über" to mean "very." Lustig.
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby Auberon » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:21 pm

It's tres chic to do that I guess.
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby Jefferson Cicero » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:32 pm

I'm not sure whether to laugh or to cringe when someone refers to more than one Elvis impersonator as 'Elvi, or even 'Elvii'.
'Greek had to be simplified, and Latin had to be replaced with Italian, because we barbarians stole so many Greek and Latin words.'
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby furrykef » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:54 pm

But if you called them "Elves", that'd bring up a different image entirely. :lol:
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby Lex » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:02 am

Jefferson Cicero wrote:I'm not sure whether to laugh or to cringe when someone refers to more than one Elvis impersonator as 'Elvi, or even 'Elvii'.


Hehehehe..... There is a vampire-based role-playing game called "Vampire: The Masquerade". One of the features of the game is that there are 13 main vampire "clans", and a number of "sub-clans" or "bloodlines". One of the bloodlines consists entirely of former Elvis impersonators, all of whom believe that they are Elvis Presley. The fact that there are other members of this clan, who also believe that they are Elvis Presley, does not seem to faze them, even when they are gathered together. The name of this bloodline is Clan Elvii. Perhaps this is where the usage you refer to originated?
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby Jefferson Cicero » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:16 am

It could be, Lex, but I dont know. I remember seeing on TV, a long time ago, some comedian who was impersonating Elvis impersonators, almost turning them into creatures of their own, a species, with exaggerated appearances and habits. He called them 'Elv-eye', but I dont think he invented the term. Since then, I have on rare occasions heard people use the term in conversation, and seen both 'Elvi' and 'Elvii' on the internet. It may be a term used in Vegas where Elvis impersonators are common.
'Greek had to be simplified, and Latin had to be replaced with Italian, because we barbarians stole so many Greek and Latin words.'
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby CharlesDWard » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:01 am

You really don't want to see The Social Network then. They called the Winklevosses "the Winklevi." It bothered me.
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby uberdwayne » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:54 pm

Reminds me of how some use the German "über" to mean "very." Lustig.


I really hope you don't mind the use of my name :) In all curiousness... what does "Uber" truly mean?
μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν ἢ ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby spiphany » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:28 pm

uberdwayne wrote:I really hope you don't mind the use of my name :) In all curiousness... what does "Uber" truly mean?

In German, über (the "u" is pronounced more rounded than in English) is a preposition/prefix meaning "above" (spatially) and in a metaphorical sense "beyond, superior to" or sometimes "excessively". It's roughly equivalent to Latin "super".

I have a suspicion that the English usage may have originated with the adoption of Nietzsche's term "Übermensch", but I can't confirm it; I think it's one of those usages whose origins are rather obscure.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: The evil 'ii'.

Postby MatthaeusDeNEburici » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:18 am

I'm not sure about the double "i" ending, but it seems the uninitiated think that pluralization is as simple in Latin as it is in English regular nouns. If they believe "II" makes something plural, then every plural will have an "II" on the end. If they believe "i" alone makes something plural, then every plural will have an "i" on the end. It can be either annoying or kind of amusing, depending on how one approaches these sorts of things. It is definitely disappointing that that the creators of a game about ancient Rome didn't take the time to figure out how to do it properly. A member of my family worked on the animated film _Aladdin_ and later told me that nobody at the studio had thought twice about using "squiggles" to represent Arabic text on signs used in various scenes. Ouch.
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