22 jul. 2004

A linguistics query: Henry caught me misspelling the word "literati" as "litterati." The former word is in the dictionary, the latter is my misspelling, but is also the original Italian word. Now this word is a loan word that's retained its plural, like the word "cognoscenti" or, for some pedantic speakers, "formulae." What seems odd to me is that the word woud have lost its doubled consonant as well. It seems like it would lose its original plural before it suffered a change in its root. I say "dilettantes," not "dilettanti," although both forms appear in my dictionary. I am incapable of ordering "a biscotti," I have to say "one of those biscotti." So my query is: is there any other loan word that's retained its original plural ending and yet has suffered an orthographical change?

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