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Thread: Origin of Slang Term "Boni"?
Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 02:39 PM #1
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
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:
Originally Posted by Anthtriel
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:
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:
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,
FlynnIn Like Flynn: http://flynnwd.blogspot.com/
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Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 02:49 PM #2
Scout (Lvl 6)
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.Originally Posted by Flynn
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Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 02:56 PM #3
Guide (Lvl 11)
short for Zamboni.
a vehicle used to clear up the ICE skidmarks.
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Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 02:57 PM #4
Gallant (Lvl 3)
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.
Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 03:00 PM #5
Lama (Lvl 13)
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.Originally Posted by Flynn
Last edited by Deset Gled; Tuesday, 30th October, 2007 at 03:14 PM.
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Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 03:52 PM #6
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
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 "Nüsse" - 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.
Last edited by WhatGravitas; Tuesday, 30th October, 2007 at 03:56 PM.
Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 03:58 PM #7
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
Yes, a fellow octopodes user! You make this language pedant very happyOriginally Posted by Deset Gled
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.
Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 03:59 PM #8
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
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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Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 04:02 PM #9
Magsman (Lvl 14)
I thought octopuses was the accepted plural, these days.Originally Posted by Deset Gled
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.
Tuesday, 30th October, 2007, 04:19 PM #10
Gallant (Lvl 3)
In English, it is. "Octopi," as others have pointed out, is simply incorrect, whereas "octopodes" strikes me as pedantic.Originally Posted by Aeolius