The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

20 April 2006

What's nex

Dr Weevil finds some dubious Latin at kausfiles:

Mickey Kaus writes (April 19th, 5:20 pm):

. . . why should the L.A. Times probe into Burkle's various nexes with prominent Democratic politicos?

"Nexes"? Eeeew! The plural of Latin nexus is nexus. No, the two forms are not identical: the singular has a short U and rhymes with "wuss" and "puss", while the plural has a long U and rhymes with "goose" and "moose". Of course, "various nexus" would look and sound terrible in English, and "nexuses" would be even worse. As with mongooses and octopuses (or octopodes), it's probably best to avoid the plural entirely.

Fourth declension, I guess.

Then there was the (probably apocryphal) zoo employee who sent the following request: "Dear Sir: Please send me a mongoose. While you're at it, please send me another one."

As for the plural of Lexus, heck, I can't afford even a single Lexus. (I drive Mazdae.)

And in defense of Kaus, at least he didn't say "nexi".

Posted at 6:56 PM to Say What?


Why not "nexera"?

Posted by: McGehee at 9:21 AM on 22 April 2006

I guess "nexus" isn't neuter.

This reminds me of a wondrous bit of fake Latin that flummoxed me when I was a schoolboy:

O sibili si ergo
Fortibus es in ero
O nobili themis trux
Sivat sinum causan dux.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:08 PM on 23 April 2006