Friday, March 6, 2009

Words I'm Looking Up (One in an occasional cleverly named series on words I'm looking up)


I could have sworn that, years ago, I learned that the proper plural was "indices" and that "indexes" was a less-preferred form that was slowly gaining dominance.


Webster's New World, American Heritage, and Merriam-Webster all list "indexes" as the first choice for the plural. A Google search shows that users feel the same way, 75 million to 42 million in favor of "indexes."

So I pulled out my 1955 Oxford Universal Dictionary, certain I'd find evidence that the preference for "indexes" was a recent development. Nope again. This big dusty book also prefers "indexes."

Too bad. I like "indices." If it were preferred, it would be like a fun plot twist in the middle of written work -- something to keep you on your toes. But no.

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1 comment:

Janet S. said...

"Indices" is still preferred in math and computer science, but for the topic/page reference in the back of the book, it's "indexes".


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