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It is great to see several new 'names' popping up as newbies on this site - welcome, all of you!

When the original announcement about Mander Organs was made, a number of us who couldn't live without our daily dose of forum activity, wondered what to do. A member of this forum, Steve G, sprang into action and set up a very similar one - here... https://houndscroft.co.uk/organ-forum/ Have a look!

I am sure that we all hope the Mander Organs forum will continue - it seems to have over 1000 members, many of whom are very eminent in their field, though we only hear regularly from a tiny minority of members - fewer than 10%, I reckon. The new 'houndscroft' forum has a couple of extra 'tabs' - one for choral music, which many of us are involved with, and the other for digital organs, which a lot of us own, so some added interest. 

Please do not feel that for a moment I wish to divert action from here to there. A number of members have indicated on the other site that they welcome the new one and that they intend to keep up with both. And it seems to me that we live in an uncertain world, and so there is an element of eggs in the one basket or babies and bath water about having a good, 'oven ready' (oh dear!) other/additional option.

The most important thing about both of these forums is that we all try to contribute. We all need to ask questions, relate stories, talk about interesting organs, music, articles, discoveries and experiences and not be shy about it! (And yes, I know that the plural of forum is meant to be 'fora' but that does seem very pedantic these days, and I think I saw in at least one university style guide recently that Latin plurals could/should be avoided).

Best wishes to one an all and especially to newbies! 

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Quote: (And yes, I know that the plural of forum is meant to be 'fora' but that does seem very pedantic these days, and I think I saw in at least one university style guide recently that Latin plurals could/should be avoided).

Thoroughly agree with Martin Cook's excellent comments above and join him in welcoming new blood into this excellent forum.

I suppose the forum/fora thing is a bit of a moot point, but I have every intention of retaining the correct plural of syllabus, if only to avoid drenching the person to whom I am talking with the somewhat cumbersome 'syllabuses'!

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As someone currently involved in research at a university, I do not feel that style guides are any more than a guide to someone's view of something. Thus, I'm completely happy to continue to use the formal plurals, clear punctuation, the Oxford comma, avoidance of split infinitives, and eschewing the current deplorable misuse of the word 'incredible', as I've preferred over many years. My university does have a style guide, which I ignore. My supervisors are happy with that.

'Incredible' is increasingly used an adjective to denote a matter of delight, the antithesis of its real meaning. Such linguistic impoverishment is offensive.

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Ha! No cause for alarm... I was mistaken! The style guide in question makes clear that the opposite of what I said is correct. It doesn't actually say forums/fora, but it does give stratum/strata as one of several examples. Mind you, it does qualify its guidance by saying that foreign plurals apply 'where still in common usage.' Lord knows who decides which of these is in common usage. It's here if you fancy a good read! 

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The Oxford Guide to Style is unexpectedly silent concerning the plurals of nouns adopted from other languages - so far as I can see, anyway. It has always seemed logical to me to retain the native plurals for nouns that are still treated as foreign and thus printed in italics, but to pluralise nouns that have become fully assimilated into English and are thus printed in Roman (such as forum and syllabus) as if they were English - except where it is the plural itself that has become naturalised: no one talks of an agendum or a datum.

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2 hours ago, UoBDMWC said:

As someone currently involved in research at a university, I do not feel that style guides are any more than a guide to someone's view of something. Thus, I'm completely happy to continue to use the formal plurals, clear punctuation, the Oxford comma, avoidance of split infinitives, and eschewing the current deplorable misuse of the word 'incredible', as I've preferred over many years. My university does have a style guide, which I ignore. My supervisors are happy with that.

'Incredible' is increasingly used an adjective to denote a matter of delight, the antithesis of its real meaning. Such linguistic impoverishment is offensive.

The word 'incredible' becomes much more attractive, even acceptable, compared to the American phenomenon of plastering anything good or even exciting as 'awesome'. Add the American accent, and it's enough to drive anyone mad!

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14 minutes ago, Martin Cooke said:

Indeed, they don't! It's not completely silent, though - see page 24.

Thank you, Martin. Your previous post overlapped with mine, so I have only just seen it. The book I was referring to is somewhat different to your link; it's basically what used to be 'Hart's Rules' - now out of print: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Oxford-Guide-Style-Language-Reference/dp/0198691750/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Oxford+guide+to+style&qid=1599848088&sr=8-3

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25 minutes ago, James Bradley said:

There is also "New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide" which my tutor for my Master's has recommended.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Harts-Rules-Oxford-Guides/dp/0199570027&ved=2ahUKEwiUucXH7-HrAhWoTxUIHb5ECDwQFjAKegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw3aXiqFHKmPkJ32oPay1SsL

Ah, thank you.  That will be more up-to-date.  I ought to get it.  It's interesting how many different forms of guidance Oxford issue. I hope they all agree...

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I was talking to friend recently whose children had been learning about the octopus during lockdown. They had been told that the plural should be Octopi (sic) or it was allowable to use octopussies. He disliked the latter as it sounds messy and suggested that they use the former. 

I suggested that the correct plural should really be octopodes as the name is not a simple Latin word of the second declension, but a Latinised form of the Greek word oktopous. 

I too shall order a copy of the book to help preserve my reputation for grammatical pedantry. I think of it as simply being correct. ☺️ 

E&OE

 

 

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19 hours ago, Vox Humana said:

no one talks of an agendum

An agendum is list with only one thing to be done on it. The rarity of the form is testimony to the fact that, alas, so few meetings are so lucky as to be faced with but a single task (tho’ I must admit to engineering such a meeting solely so I could use the term ...).

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2 hours ago, handsoff said:

They had been told that the plural should be Octopi (sic) or it was allowable to use octopussies. He disliked the latter as it sounds messy

Especially if shaken, not stirred, I imagine.

(We really have gone off-topic, haven't we? Mea cupla.)

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20 hours ago, UoBDMWC said:

As someone currently involved in research at a university, I do not feel that style guides are any more than a guide to someone's view of something. Thus, I'm completely happy to continue to use the formal plurals, clear punctuation, the Oxford comma, avoidance of split infinitives, and eschewing the current deplorable misuse of the word 'incredible', as I've preferred over many years. My university does have a style guide, which I ignore. My supervisors are happy with that.

'Incredible' is increasingly used an adjective to denote a matter of delight, the antithesis of its real meaning. Such linguistic impoverishment is offensive.

As someone similarly involved in university research, I like things to be clear and, as far as possible, unambiguous - it's not always easy to be both clear and concise. I have been a fan of the Oxford comma since seeing the cartoon "We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin" 🙂 Once seen, never forgotten! As one of the few native English speakers in an international organisation, I am often consulted on questions of style and interpretation, and do my best to spread good English style - and inevitably get my comeuppance from time to time when making a mistake. Ah well, all part of the fun. Like playing Bach on an accordion, or Joplin on a harpsichord, it's sometimes a matter of taste. As the song goes, you say toe-may-toe, and I say it correctly.

I only remember one rule from a university style guide - this was for engineers, though. "If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, avoid hyperbole!" Wouldn't want to be accused of over-exaggeration.

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20 hours ago, Vox Humana said:

The Oxford Guide to Style is unexpectedly silent concerning the plurals of nouns adopted from other languages - so far as I can see, anyway. 

What about the opposite? I scream inwardly when I hear an Italian sandwich being called a panini instead of a panino.

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On 11/09/2020 at 10:16, John Morris said:

Quote: (And yes, I know that the plural of forum is meant to be 'fora' but that does seem very pedantic these days, and I think I saw in at least one university style guide recently that Latin plurals could/should be avoided).

Thoroughly agree with Martin Cook's excellent comments above and join him in welcoming new blood into this excellent forum.

I suppose the forum/fora thing is a bit of a moot point

In this particular context, however, it should really have been in the genitive (hem hem).

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