Monday, April 14, 2008

The Godess of Vengeance

I sometimes find myself involved in discussions over what is the English plural for nemesis[1]. While reading Russell Whitfield's novel Gladiatrix[2] I note his contribution:
They were, she realised, her nemeses made flesh: one black, the other white; one male, one female; one the taker of her virginity, the other taker of her love.

Italics in the original. Of course, the italics note a Latin word or phrase (the novel is set in the Roman Empire in the late first century), so strictly speaking, this isn't an English plural at all. Have I wasted enough of your time yet? Okay.

[1] Unnecessary - there is only one Goddess of Vengeance (capital N) and (one hopes) only one thing fated to destroy you. One day I'll find myself having to describe a group each of which is facing their own, individual nemesis and have to get off the fence, but until then I'm undecided.
[2] Plural: gladiatrices

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