My Royal Court

01 August 2011

Alma Mater

I have need to take an issue to task -- those metal frames that drivers display around their license plates.  You know to what I refer.  They most often sport the college said person has attended.  Let's clarify the word that generally appears at the bottom (and sometimes the top) of this rectangle. 

Alumnus is the traditional singular spelling.  The word refers to a graduate of a particular college.  At one time way back in the day, it referred to a male graduate.  Females need not apply.  

Alumni is the plural spelling.  This means more than one graduate, and grammar dictates that this can refer to both male and female.  Women's Equality rocks! (To note, alumna (singular) and alumnae (plural) refer to the ladies).

Well, what does all of this mean?  When you see those frames, they have the word alumni.  The only way this declaration works is if more than one person in that vehicle is a graduate of said college.  I would say that most oftentimes this is not the case.  The plate is a reflection of the driver's accomplishment.

I'll emphatically state that I always will support and display my alma mater whenever possible.  Go tigers!  For all future grads, remember this error and try to find a more grammatically correct way to support your school. 

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