Am I using the plural noun statuses correctly in the following sentence given that each of them has a distinct status?

"Both the girl and the guy are hiding their social statuses from each other."

Should I say status instead?

  • It's done, and generally accepted, at least in less formal writings. – Hot Licks May 6 '16 at 12:07
  • Please see a good dictionary. – Kris May 6 '16 at 12:20
  • 2
    Duplicate of english.stackexchange.com/q/877/14666 "What is the plural form of "status"?" – Kris May 6 '16 at 12:36
  • What about "states"? – lux May 6 '16 at 18:41

The OED refers to three possible plurals, two of which are now rare.

Status (rare)

Statuses (now usual)

Statusses (rare).

Inflections: Pl. (rare) status /ˈsteɪtjuːs/ , (now usu.) statuses /ˈsteɪtəsɪz/ , (rare) statusses /ˈsteɪtəsɪz/ .

Etymology: A borrowing from Latin. Etymon: Latin status.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Better to include a link to the resource. – Kris May 6 '16 at 12:19
  • 3
    @Kris OED is subscription only – bib May 6 '16 at 12:31
  • @Kris This is the link but unless you are a UK Council Tax payer, and your municipal library has given you a log-in, I'm afraid it is subscription-only. – WS2 May 6 '16 at 18:02

Well, the Anglicized plural would indeed be statuses, although if you wanted to get fancy I suppose you could use status, which is actually the Latin plural (since it's a 4th declension not a 2nd declension noun, in case anyone's interested.... If it were 2nd declension, the plural would be stati.)

| improve this answer | |
  • Very interesting. When we borrow foreign words, do we necessarily bring down the derivative forms or use English derivations? Btw, etymonline.com/index.php?term=status en.wiktionary.org/wiki/status#Etymology_4 – Kris May 7 '16 at 15:11
  • I guess it's a fairly even mix of Latin plurals and derived plurals... (Also i was referring to the noun form of status that is in fact 4th declension, rather than the perfect passive participle-turned-noun which is 2nd). – Nick May 7 '16 at 16:26

Here's the sole intelligent reason for having a gender-neutral third personal pronoun meaning indifferently 'he or she", "him or her", "his or her".
Let's adopt for this the made-up word ig (declined ig, ig, igz) and then say "each hiding igz social status from the other". No awkward plural needed!
If there are more than 2 people, we can say "others".

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.