Possible Duplicate:
Can you call someone who chooses to quit his/her study in college as alumnus?

Is it correct or acceptable to use alumnus for both genders?

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    This is answered within previous question "Can you call someone who chooses to quit his/her study in college as alumnus?" – James Waldby - jwpat7 Dec 5 '11 at 7:57
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    I was going to close as duplicate, but I can't actually find an authoritative answer at the other question. The answers there mention that alumnus/alumni are male and alumna/alumnae are female, but there's nothing reliable about using alumnus for females (the way "actor" and other words are now gender-neutral). It's not clear if the answers on that question should be interpreted as saying "no, it is not acceptable to use alumnus for both genders". – ShreevatsaR Dec 5 '11 at 8:14
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    Maybe not a duplicate, but I downvoted as no research is shown, and voted to close as general reference. – Hugo Dec 5 '11 at 9:18
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    @Hugo: Even with enough research, I cannot find the answer in general references: they variously say that alumnus is "male", or "especially male", or don't. :-( – ShreevatsaR Dec 7 '11 at 3:22

I do not think it is correct to use in both. However, it is correct and preferable to use in a gender-neutral, general application. "A person who is an alumnus of ..." would be fine, without necessarily implying that it includes only the men.

  • It will be nice if that settles the controversy for once and forever. – Kris Dec 5 '11 at 10:07
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    As stated alumnus (plural alumni) is male and alumna (alumnae) is female, however it IS correct to use alumni for a mixture or gender-neutral plural. – user24964 Nov 14 '13 at 9:42

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