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tortoise/turtle
Posted: 16 June 2012 07:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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No, it’s tortoise. As a rule, titles and phrases, like “the tortoise and the hare,” are treated as single lexical units and don’t vary the word choice with shifts in dialect.

I think when pressed, most Americans would acknowledge awareness of the technical tortoise/turtle distinction. But they just don’t make the distinction in casual speech.

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Posted: 18 June 2012 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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So does “turtles all the way down” refer to the land-based or semi-aquatic species or is it just left to the imagination? I always had visions of what we in the UK call turtles.

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Posted: 18 June 2012 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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A profound cosmological conundrum.

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Posted: 18 June 2012 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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It’s sea turtles. They swim in the luminiferous ether.

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Posted: 18 June 2012 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Perhaps it’s a Mock Turtle and it swims in the soup.

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Posted: 18 June 2012 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Q So what’s the difference between mock turtle soup and pea soup?
A Anyone can mock turtle soup.

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Posted: 18 June 2012 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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No, it’s not mock turtle as that’s singular and “turtles” plural go all the way down. Another conundrum for the considerable combined cosmological intellects of Dr Techie and Dave Wilton: after which species (semi-aquatic or land-based) are turtle-neck sweaters named? I would imagine land-based, but I may be wrong.

As an instructive aside, I have just learned that the plural of conundrum is conundrums, not conundra. Ever. The word was probably coined long ago as a joke.

Wait for it ........

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Posted: 18 June 2012 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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But the plural of Prius is still Prii, right?

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Posted: 18 June 2012 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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OP Tipping - 18 June 2012 03:39 PM

But the plural of Prius is still Prii, right?

I’ve heard that it’s Priori.

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Posted: 18 June 2012 04:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Wait for it ........

How long do we have to wait…

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Posted: 19 June 2012 02:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Actually, the Latin plural of prius is priores.

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Posted: 19 June 2012 03:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Actually, the Latin plural of prius is priores.

Crikey, it’s only Tuesday and I’ve already learnt my thing for the week.

Why’s that, then?

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Posted: 19 June 2012 04:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Now unlearn. Latin prius is an adverb, meaning earlier, prior, so there is no plural.

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Posted: 19 June 2012 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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It’s also a third declension, neuter noun, prius, prioris, meaning “earlier event, logically prior proposition.”

And it’s an adjective as well. Both the noun and adjectival forms have plurals.

(As to why the nominative plural is priores, the stem is formed by dropping the ending from the singular, genitive form prioris, so the stem is prior. Then the nominative, plural ending for third declension, neuter nouns is -es, hence priores.)

Of course, none of this is relevant to what the plural is in English.

[ Edited: 19 June 2012 04:27 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 19 June 2012 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Something I’ve learned today, then. Can you site an online source for the Latin noun prius? My Lewis & Short gives only the adverbial sense.

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