Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Greek plurals (was: OT Plectrums)

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 19:26
Quoting R A Brown <ray@...>:

> Mark J. Reed wrote: > > On Sun, 9 Sep 2007 20:05:49 +0100, R A Brown > > <ray@...> wrote: > > > >>Oh yes, before some writes in, I do know that _Latin_ plural of > >>'plectrum' is 'plectra.' Indeed, 'plectra' /ple:ktra/ was also the > >>ancient (non-Doric) Greek plural; but their singular was 'plectron' :) > > > > > > 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. 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". Andreas


R A Brown <ray@...>Greek plurals