The Grumpy Troll

Ramblings of a grumpy troll.

Pseudo-intellectual Latin

There's a fairly common theme in the tech industry, that when something goes wrong, the incident report is called a “post-mortem”, even though nobody has died. That's fair enough.

What still irritates me is the use of the term “post-morti” to describe a collection of post-mortems. Here's what I wrote on the topic when correcting the usage in a wiki page, before it was uncorrected because the wrong version was considered funnier. Yes, I'm a sourpuss.

“It is "post-mortems", not "post-morti". In Latin, the "-i" ending is for pluralisation of second declension nouns in the nominative case and replaces a "-us" from the nominative singular. servus→servi and filius→filii. "mortem", accusative of "mors"/"mortis", third declension feminine noun which if pluralised in Latin would be "mortes", for "post-mortes". But we're using an English concept named from Latin terminology and which pluralises per English rules (such as they are). Thus "post-mortems" instead of "post-mortes". But "post-morti" is just plain wrong.”

-The Grumpy Troll


Paul Makepeace
See also the epic, :-)
Categories: latin