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Greek plurals

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Thursday, September 13, 2007, 7:03
Andreas Johansson wrote:
> Mark J. Reed wrote:
>>> > So then I guess "Elektra" is the plural of "electron"? > >> >> Nope - but _criterion ~ criteria_ does work. >> >>Although "electron" is taken from Greek, it does not keep anything >>resembling its Greek meaning, which was _amber_ or, indeed, 'electron' >>in the sense of "an alloy of gold and silver" (a more ancient use than >>the naming of a sub-atomic particle). > > > I'd always assumed "electron" as the name of the particle was a back-formation > from "electric" etc, and the American Heritage Dictionary indeed gives this > etymology.
From the bound morpheme _electr(o)- I guess.
> They further tell that the ending "-on" is extrapolated from "ion", which in > turn apparently is a greek present participle "(smth) that goes", from _ienai_ > "to go".
Maybe - the etymologies in my dictionary are far too brief. It does suggest that's its a re-use of the word _electron_ on analogy with ion, proton etc. If, indeed, the -on at the end of _electron_ meaning a sub-atomic particle is extrapolated from _ion_, then the 'plural' of _electron_ is most certainly *not* _electra_ - it would be *electronta :) -- Ray ================================== ================================== Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu. There's none too old to learn. [WELSH PROVERB]