From: Wayne Leman (
Date: Thu Feb 24 2000 - 10:44:56 EST

George followed up:

>To take the last part first -- I'm not in on that discussion (at least not

Right, sorry about that mental gaffe on my part.

>As for the first -- my question remains. What is it? I know what hOI
>means. I even assume that you meant hOI POLLOW.

No, I meant "hoi polloi", as found in my American Heritage Dictionary. It's
an English phrase that's been borrowed from Greek, of course, and perhaps
customized some to fit English grammar.

  The question is -- What's

It's a borrowing from Greek that *some* English speakers understand, and use
to refer to "ordinary folks," "the common masses of people."

> If it's supposed to be a plural, hOI POLLOI is already plural. I don't
>know what else you may have intended.

I can't tell at this point whether it is now treated by English speakers as
a grammatical ("count") plural or a "mass" plural (as in English "crowd"
which is semantically plural but grammatically functions as a singular in

Did I answer your question, George? If not, let me know what's missing and I
can try again. Sorry for the confusion. I was just having fun by inserting
that phrase into my original message. I meant nothing by it other than
having fun with my English sentence by inserting a borrowed Greek phrase.


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