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What is the plural form of "status"?

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up vote 49 down vote accepted

There are some situations where status may be considered countable. In those cases, the plural form can be used as statuses. MacMillan dictionary gives 3 definitions for status, and 2 of them are referred to as countable & uncountable. Personally, I would use status as the plural form instead of statuses.

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5  
That's not always clear in some business uses: "How many status did you maintain on that order?" vs "How many statuses did you maintain on that order?" Obviously one could change that to "state": "How many states did...?" but when the business term in use is "status" then altering the term makes things less clear. Of course this is a specialized use-case. – cori Aug 14 '10 at 20:45
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+1 For saying that "statuses" is acceptable, and maintaining your position of using "status" as the plural. – Vincent McNabb Aug 16 '10 at 4:56
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So why isn't it statii? – bobobobo Jan 12 '11 at 11:25
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Oh, because its from Latin, not Greek – bobobobo Jan 13 '11 at 16:13
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@bobobobo: Besides, there isn't a single word not ending in -ius whose plural ends in -ii (AFAIK). Something like statii could only be the plural of “statius”, and only under the right circumstances. (Think of the incorrect *virii, etc.) [Edit: And if you'd read the rest of the answers, you needn't have posted this, and if I'd read the comments on them, I needn't have posted this either. :p] – ShreevatsaR Feb 3 '11 at 18:00

In Latin, the nominative plural of status as a 4th declension noun is statūs. This would be uncomfortable in English, and so the English plural is statuses.

The Latin adjective has a different masculine nominative plural of statī, but then means something more like the English static.

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This, to me, is the most sensible answer. – redreinard Oct 25 '15 at 19:38

It is definitely status - with a long "u".

This is because it is a Latin word under u-declination.

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I'm tempted to upvote this just for cleverness :). – JSBձոգչ Aug 14 '10 at 13:44
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That's the way it's almost always argued here in Germany. I'd suggest it's valid in English, too! – perdian Sep 7 '10 at 14:20
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Downvoted. It is definitely status with a long 'u' in Latin. This could have had a bearing in English, if it had got established in the era when most educated people knew some Latin. Since it did not, it is irrelevant to English. – Colin Fine Oct 6 '10 at 12:58
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+1 definitely the only way. Saying that latin is not used anymore has no sense here. – Elenaher Oct 12 '10 at 13:07
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@Elenaher, nobody is saying that Latin has no use, just that it is not the final authority, especially in cases such as this. – Kirk Woll Apr 24 '12 at 0:17

I always though that status should not be used as plural, but I notice that statuses is reported from the CoCA in sentences like:

Young people across a wide range of socio-economic statuses increasingly value choosing their own spouses, and individual choice [...].
[...], but those with higher threat statuses need even more conservation.
Certain references were also made about specific types of sexual activity including individuals' virginity statuses.

Statuses is used in academic context, with a frequency of 192 (compared with a frequency of 3 and 4 in magazines and newspapers).

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I see that I've very late to answer. I usually try to avoid the use of "status" as a plural, instead option to use the near-synonym "state".

Take for example these three attempts at pluralizing "status", all of which I've seen coworkers using:

The product should support the following statuses: Red Green Blue
The product should support the following status: Red Green Blue
The product should support the following statii: Red Green Blue

None of those sound natural, and one is objectively wrong. The issue is sidestepped by substituting "states":

The product should support the following states: Red Green Blue

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1  
it's helpful, like the alternative – Am1rr3zA Mar 25 at 16:23

Many moons ago, our own tchrist wrote*

… If for some bizarre reason you simply cannot bring yourself to use the normal English plural form “statuses”, then you must learn that the true plural of status is statUs, with a macro[n] over the u [i.e., statūs] and pronounced “statoose”. That’s because status comes from the Latin declension that forms plurals according to that particular rule, which incidentally is just like the plurals of apparatus and prospectus, but unlike the plural of words like radius, which becomes radii because it’s from a different declension, and also unlike genus and corpus, which go to genera and corpora respectively because they are from still another declension. And please don’t ask me about octopus, since it’s Greek not Latin, and we do not care to offend any sensitive octopedal feelings. :-) Wouldn’t it be much easier to simply s/$/es/?

A word to the wise: don’t use fancy forms out of yesteryear unless you really REALLY do know how they work(ed). It just sounds silly.


* Message-ID: <5g2fu0$jve$1@csnews.cs.colorado.edu> in comp.lang.perl.misc, March 11, 1997.

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I see some references to status as uncountable as well, but that doesn't make much sense to me. I've always used statii, apparently incorrectly: Merriam-Webster, at least, calls for "statuses"

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Why on earth would you use "statii"? Even if you were forming Latin-style plurals for some reason, "statii" would only be the plural of "statius". It's really mystifying why people want to put two ‘i’s; see e.g. Language Log posts here, here, here. – ShreevatsaR Aug 14 '10 at 16:05
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That's a good question. "Statuses" just sounded wrong, I suppose; I never really considered whether it was correct or not until I read this question. The place I've used the plural form the most is in discussions about reports from a business system at my employer, and "statii" was the commonly used term there. Now I know better.... – cori Aug 14 '10 at 20:39
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In Latin the plural is neither 'statii' nor 'stati': it is 'statūs' (4th declension, or "-u stem" to an Indo-Eorpeanist) – Colin Fine Oct 6 '10 at 13:01

It seems "status" is uncountable.

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One status.. two statuses!! There, see! Countable. – bobobobo Jan 12 '11 at 11:26
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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. – Mari-Lou A Jul 29 '13 at 17:17

protected by RegDwigнt Sep 27 '11 at 8:57

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