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56 "Bona fides", "kudos", and "minutia" are singulars in Latin or Greek. (Usage disputes - alt.usage.english)




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This article is from the alt.usage.english FAQ, by Mark Israel misrael@scripps.edu with numerous contributions by others.

56 "Bona fides", "kudos", and "minutia" are singulars in Latin or Greek. (Usage disputes - alt.usage.english)

"Graffiti" (plural in Italian) is disputed in English. But
"zucchini" (also plural in Italian) is the invariable singular form
in English (the English plural is "zucchini" or "zucchinis").
"Biscotti" seems to be going the same way. The names of types of
pasta (cannelloni, cappelletti, ditali, fusilli, gnocchi,
maccheroni, manicotti, ravioli, rigatoni, spaghetti, spaghettini,
taglierini, tortellini, vermicelli, ziti, which are masculine plural
in Italian; and conchiglie, farfalle, fettuccine, linguine, rotelle,
which are feminine plural; some of the -e words are often spelled
with -i in English; "maccheroni" is "macaroni" in English) are
treated as mass nouns in English: they take singular verbs, but
plurals are not made from them. (Many of the words listed as
disputed above are also treated as mass nouns when they are used as
singulars.)

 

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