Origin of Slang Term "Boni"?
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    Origin of Slang Term "Boni"?

    Good Morning, All:

    I have noticed over the last few years that the term "boni" is gaining popularity among a small crowd here on ENWorld.

    For example, from the 4E forum:

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthtriel
    Also note how it cares about the con bonus, which works well with my prediction that status effects work on the 4E level adjusted attribute boni.
    I looked up the word on Dictionary.Com, and it does not exist in that online dictionary:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/boni

    From the context, I figured someone might be trying to indicate the plural of bonus, so I looked that word up to see what the plural form was:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bonus

    Turns out that the plural of "bonus" is "bonuses", not "boni".

    I assume that this slang word originated from an inappropriate application of the grammatical rule of thumb that suggests words ending in -us could be made plural by changing the suffix to -i. However, that is not always the case:
    http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/plural-of-virus.html
    http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexper...rammar/plurals

    Is there another alternative for the origin of this slang term? If so, I would appreciate hearing about it, as I find the word itself jarring when I am reading through posts here on ENWorld, and am now finally curious enough to ask about it.

    Thank you in advance for any enlightenment you might be able to give on this subject,
    Flynn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flynn
    From the context, I figured someone might be trying to indicate the plural of bonus, so I looked that word up to see what the plural form was:
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bonus

    Turns out that the plural of "bonus" is "bonuses", not "boni".

    I assume that this slang word originated from an inappropriate application of the grammatical rule of thumb that suggests words ending in -us could be made plural by changing the suffix to -i. However, that is not always the case:
    http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/plural-of-virus.html
    http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexper...rammar/plurals
    I strongly suspect it originated as a joke or tongue in cheek statement by someone with a mathematical background, not a misunderstanding. Even odds that some was hong, in which case it might even date back to usenet, pre-ENworld/EN's boards.

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    short for Zamboni.

    a vehicle used to clear up the ICE skidmarks.

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    Lots of people labor under the mistaken impression that, in English, we continue to use foreign plurals for foreign words. This is mostly untrue. When it is done, it's either because the foreign plural is so strongly associated with the word that a more typical English plural seems odd or because the word itself doesn't easily lend itself to an English plural.

    "Bonus" falls into neither one of those categories and is thus not a proper plural of this English-adopted Latin word.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flynn
    Turns out that the plural of "bonus" is "bonuses", not "boni".

    I assume that this slang word originated from an inappropriate application of the grammatical rule of thumb that suggests words ending in -us could be made plural by changing the suffix to -i. However, that is not always the case:
    My classics trained fiancee blames this on 1) bad latin and 2) people who want to sound smarter than they are. And yes, it does occasionally happen in the real world, too. For example, the true latin-based plural of octopus is really octopodes, not octopi.
    Last edited by Deset Gled; Tuesday, 30th October, 2007 at 04:14 PM.

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    I know that the German plural of "bonus" can be "bonusse" or "boni". And since both are viable, I tend to use "boni" in German, because "bonusse" sounds awkward - it reminds me of "Nsse" - nuts.

    And I sometimes carry that plural over into English - but I know it's wrong in English.

    EDIT: And that's also my reason for lapsing into saying "malus" instead of penalty... and I guess, since I'm not the only non-English person on the internet, that other people also tend to make that error. And then other (English) people read it, think it looks "cool" or "smart"... and propagate it.

    Cheers, LT.
    Last edited by WhatGravitas; Tuesday, 30th October, 2007 at 04:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deset Gled
    My classics trained fiancee blames this on 1) bad latin and 2) people who want to sound smarter than they are. And yes, it does occasionally happen in the real world, too. For example, the true latin-based plural of octopus is really octopodes, not octopi.
    Yes, a fellow octopodes user! You make this language pedant very happy

    I'm sure "boni" started as a joke, because it's not obvious what it means, whereas people will take "octopi" at face value even though its wrong.

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    In Latin the nominative plural of Bonus is Boni.
    The problem is to use that form the plural bonus must be the subject of the sentance and not an object. If it is an object it should be bonis or bonos depending on what kind of object.

    How Bono can use the Accusative or Dative Singular forms as a proper name I will never know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deset Gled
    ...the true latin-based plural of octopus is really octopodes, not octopi.
    I thought octopuses was the accepted plural, these days.

    So, would hippocampi instead be hippocampuses or hippocampodes?

    and while we're at it, the term starfish is also outdated. Nowadays they are sea stars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolius
    I thought octopuses was the accepted plural, these days.
    In English, it is. "Octopi," as others have pointed out, is simply incorrect, whereas "octopodes" strikes me as pedantic.

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