Obscure Plurals

I have compiled a not very exhaustive list of lesser known, odd (or ones that I consider to be) plurals.

  • Thesis – Thesis (pronounced literally ‘theeseez’)
  • Analysis – Analysis (pronounced literally ‘analiseez’)
  • Ox – Oxen
  • Octopus – Octopi
  • Virus – Virii (apparently antiquated) Viruses (colloquial English)
  • Genius – Genii (in Latin the dead language) Geniuses (for present English… So Eoin Colfer either had the ‘genius’ girl in the 5th book use Latin, or he had it wrong.)
  • Brother – Brethren (obviously antiquated) Brothers (used 99% of the time unless writing in historical fiction, or some overly polite/snobby/posh Shakespearean language used in fictional ancient times, ie. Elfspeak)

Now comes the quandary.


Well. Goose – Geese
…So it would make sense for Moose to be Meese, right?

So would it be ‘Moose’ but pronounced ‘meez’?
Wrong again.

Sheep – sheep. Deer – deer. Fish – fish. (Actually, all the fish I know are like that, tuna – tuna, salmon – salmon, eel – eel, trout – trout, mackerel – mackerel)

So ‘Moose’ – moose. (And incidentally, mousse – mousse, but I think that’s just because it’s from another language)

…the sad thing is, I have no idea why plurals in the English language are so complicated. Why is it House – houses, but Mouse – mice? I have no idea.

But that’s probably because I’m stupid, and schools just don’t teach grammar like they used to.

  1. haeyin posted this
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