Posted by: Jack Henry | July 7, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Alum+

We’re past graduation season, but just the other day someone was telling me how annoying it is when bumper stickers misuse the terms that follow. Here is a brief lesson on alumnus, alumna, and alumni—but not aluminum or aluminium. From The Grammar Devotional, by Mignon Fogarty:

· A female graduate is an alumna, and a group of them are alumnae.

· A male graduate is an alumnus, and a group of them are alumni.

· If a graduation party includes both male and female graduates, they are collectively called alumni.

· In casual settings, people sometimes dodge the gender specificity and use the more generic terms alum and alums.

I hope you enjoyed your Fourth of July holiday!

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

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