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Re: REF: plural of iris

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: REF: plural of iris
  • From: Chris Hollinshead <cris@netcom.ca>
  • Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 10:45:36 -0600 (MDT)

J. Michael, Celia or Ben Storey wrote:

> Greetings, all. I've missed your chatty company for the past two weeks, but
> now I'm back on-line, eager to batter you with my silly questions once
> again. And here is one that bugs the dickens out of me: Why do so many
> clubs insist upon using "iris" as a plural noun? Where does this custom
> originate? The plural is "irises," is it not?
>
> Is this practice the verbal equivalent of tea time's pointy pinky, or is
> there  a fascinating linguistic history to be told here?
>

Chris thinks this out...

Or could it be iris - iri...
..as in octopus - octopi...
smile-smile...

Actually, Webster (the dictionary people) say the following:
Main Entry: iris
Pronunciation: 'I-r&s
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural iris7es or iri7des /'I-r&-"dEz, 'ir-&-/
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin irid-, iris rainbow, iris plant, from
Greek, rainbow, iris plant, iris of the eye -- more at WIRE
Date: 15th century
1 : RAINBOW
2 [New Latin irid-, iris, from Greek] a : the opaque contractile diaphragm
perforated by the pupil and forming the colored portion of the eye -- see EYE
illustration b : IRIS
DIAPHRAGM; also : a similar device with a circular opening that can be varied
in size
3 or pl iris [New Latin Irid-, Iris, genus name, from Latin] : any of a large
genus (Iris of the family Iridaceae, the iris family) of perennial herbaceous
plants with linear
usually basal leaves and large showy flowers

--
Christopher Hollinshead
Mississauga, Ontario  Canada  zone6b
AIS(Region 16), CIS, SSI
Director-Canadian Iris Society
Newsletter Editor-Canadian Iris Society
e-mail:  cris@netcom.ca
CIS website:  http://www.netcom.ca/~cris/CIS.html






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