With the Scourge invasion
in full swing, there are a lot of large, pyramidal structures hovering around Azeroth answering to the name of "necropolis." This has led to a certain amount of discussion in game and around the WoW Insider bullpen, as well as on the WoW Ladies community
, on the topic of what you call more than one of them. Naturally, I had to go look it up.
And the answer is: necropoleis
. The first form comes from Greek, where the word originated (literal meaning: city of the dead), and is pronounced as if it were spelled "-ase." The second form comes to us through Latin (as most of our Greek-derived words do), and is traditionally pronounced by English speakers as if it were spelled "-ese" (although in Latin it would have been pronounced as "-ase" again). Necropolises
is also perfectly acceptable as an English-native pluralization, so don't be too hard on your fellow adventurers who just want directions to the darn things.
There are a number of words that are not
a reasonable plural of "necropolis." Foremost among them is "necropoli," which arises by mistaken analogy to words like "cactus." Although the -is ending in "necropolis" is pronounced more or less the same (depending on your dialect of English) as the -us ending in "cactus," it does not come from the same category of Latin words (third declension
as opposed to second
, if I'm not mistaken), and thus does not pluralize the same way. Just say no to "necropoli" -- kill that urge and fight the Scourge.Edit: Yes, I know that languages evolve, and that M-W likes "necropoli." I still don't like it, though, mostly because it's based on a bad analogy. Now get off my lawn, you crazy kids!
Filed under: Events, Odds and ends