Indices vs indexes

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Indices vs indexes

Post by Tellurius » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:43 am

In the UK, I've seen the form "indices" used a lot. Why is it used less in the USA?

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Silk McCue
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Re: Indices vs indexes

Post by Silk McCue » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:00 am

Colour me happy for being able to find this or you. ... -deal.html
Both "indexes" and "indices" are acceptable plural forms of the word "index" or to refer to more than one index. Index is one of those rare words that have two different plurals in English. "Indices" is originally a Latin plural, while "Indexes" has taken the English way of making plurals, using –s or –es.
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Indices vs indexes

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:08 pm

I used to use indices, but now I write for a more US-centric audience and have switched to indexes.

I also switched from the data are to the data is.

I think it depends on who you're writing for. When writing globally I preferred to annoy US readers who nonetheless could understand what I was saying, rather than confuse those for whom English is a second or third language by not using the spelling they, in most cases, were taught in school.

I used to get blowback from some US people, who seemed to think spelling was some kind of a great struggle to establish cultural dominance over the muver tongue.


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Re: Indices vs indexes

Post by epoxyresin » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:31 pm

It's not that rare in English for a noun to have both a regular and irregular pluralization that are both considered acceptable. Often occurs when it's been borrowed from another language with different pluralization rules.

(all from Latin)


Personally, I'll use the regular pluralization if it's at all acceptable. English is already a confusing enough language.

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Re: Indices vs indexes

Post by Tellurius » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:44 pm

Thank you for the comments.

I like these grammatical questions. There is no real answer. Only romantic souls for whom words have meaning. Although for most, it's whatever meaning you choose to apply to them.

The Latin plurals have a nice sound. At my university, we're quite big on Latin, I would say. I heard someone talk of stadia one day, instead of stadiums.

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