Diverticulum, diverticula

November 4, 2018

This is not ‘Nam. This is Latin. There are rules.

The term for a small growth off an organ or body is diverticulum, singular, or diverticula, plural. There are no diverticulae or God forbid diverticuli, no matter what you might read in some papers. Diverticuli is a word – it’s the genitive form of diverticulum. But I’ve never seen it used that way in an anatomy or paleo paper. Diverticuli and diverticulae as alt-plurals for diverticulum are abominations that must be stomped out with extreme prejudice. If you want to get cute with alternative spellings, Wiktionary says you can use deverticulum. Wiktionary does not warn you that you will be mocked for doing so, but it is true nonetheless.

Stop jacking up straightforward anatomical terms, authors who should know better.

Here’s a swan. Unlike diverticuli and diverticulae, this unlikely morphology is real.


7 Responses to “Diverticulum, diverticula”

  1. Brad Lichtenstein Says:

    Lol. Just have a sauropod stomp on them, that should flatten the opposition. Speaking of which, do you think they adopted a swan-like neck?

  2. Anne Says:

    Hahaha, did I say that? I might have. Sorry.

  3. Marja Erwin Says:

    Do you want to weigh in on the pronunciations of -ae and -i?

  4. Matt Wedel Says:

    Brad: I don’t know if they were quite flexible enough to do a swan-curve, but I think they tended that way.

    Anne: Nope, this post is aimed at others, on a time-delay to hopefully avoid embarrassing certain parties. See how nice I am?

    Marja: I was brought up to pronounce -ae like ‘eye’ and -i like ‘E’, but I’m not militant about pronunciation.

  5. Andy Farke Says:

    Dude, you were co-author on a paper naming a taxon with mixed Greek and Latin roots. Your argument is invalid.

  6. Mike Taylor Says:

    I’ve never understood why anyone has problem with mixing Greek and Latin roots. It’s like objecting to sweet and sour sauce.

  7. Andy Farke Says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s mainly the domain of those who want to show their “superior education” when it comes to dead languages.

    For my part, I mix roots as an exercise in etymological trolling of the most permanent variety. Aquilops for the win!

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