/ Foci or focuses?

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I feel the first is probably 'more' correct but feels pretentious somehow. It is to use in a general sense: "the foci of the work are..."/"the focuses of the work are..."

Which would you use?
JIMBO on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:
The 'aims' of the work are...

Not sure work can be called 'focused' if it has many aims
upordown - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Can you avoid the awkwardness by turning it around - the work focuses on x, y and z?
MG - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA: Yep, don't think you can have more than one focus.

Aims. This work examines.... This work considers...
Helen R on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

The oxford style manual (which I've just checked) and Fowlers (if i remember from last time i looked) agree that it is focuses unless you are in the realms of scientific nomenclature. Or speaking latin.

Carolyn - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

I would have thought the first is probably more common in scientific writing, but the second if referring to Fords.....
In reply to JIMBO: the actual sentence is in the past tense, referring to "X and Y, that have been the foci/focuses of my work". But just using focus as a verb side steps this issue! Thanks dudes.
davidbeynon - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to MG:

Yes you can. It's quite common for mathematical surfaces to have more than 1. Circles, parabolas etc. have 1 focus, non circular ellipses get 2 foci etc.

Can't think of any with 3 or more, but there is probably some perverse construction that has.
captain paranoia - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Bypass the problem; use 'focal points' instead.
Fredt on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

I've owned two Ford Foci
Philip on 08 Feb 2013
It all depends on whether you are using the plural of the Latin word focus, or the plural of the English word focus (from the Latin).

I doubt a Roman would have used the word "focus" to mean goal or aim, isn't it actually the fireplace?

It's a different situation to say opus/opera where the plural form in Latin means the same as the plural of the English word.

But I'm not expert, it's been 16 years since I read any Latin and I only having a passing interest in languages. I just think there there is a snobbery to the plural form of many word derived from Latin/Greek (sometimes in a roundabout fashion) that is somewhat similar to -ise and -ize.
Shearwater - on 08 Feb 2013
Foceese.
Robert Dickson on 08 Feb 2013 - jbgb1.ast.man.ac.uk
In reply to Fredt:
>
> I've owned two Ford Foci

I've always felt more comfortable around owners of Lexi.
Blue Straggler - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Verb with bonus poncey grammar that will give people pause for thought:
"X and Y, upon both of which my work has focused"

Noun which sidesteps all issues without forcing "focus" to be a verb:
"X and Y, each of which has been a focus of my work"

"Focuses" is tricky as it's also a continuous-present verb e.g. "the advanced autofocus system means that the lens focuses very quickly"
I would however be more likely to use "focuses" than "foci" (in much the same way as I'd say "forums" instead of "fora") in your case, if there weren't some neat ways to avoid the issue.

Jimbo W on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

As a noun derived from the Latin, the plural is "foci", but "focuses" is also creeping in....

The tsunami caused two major foci of damage
Amongst others, our work foci include producing efficiency and maintaing safety

It would seem that focuses would also be acceptable in the latter, but I'm not sure if this divides along grammatical lines. It would appear to me to be an aesthetic choice.
Dave Garnett - on 10 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Foci, referendums, octopodes...
Blue Straggler - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Prospectuses
Wiley Coyote - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to TobyA:
Tricky stuff Italian, ancient or modern. It somehow feels wrong asking for two cappuccinos and a panini, especially from an Italian, but wouldn't you feel a prerentious tosser ordering two cuppiccini and a panino, especially in Barnsley!
Blue Straggler - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Should the pizza company "Domino's" be pronounced Doh-MEEEEN-oh's ? :-)
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Wiley Coyote - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
>
> Should the pizza company "Domino's" be pronounced Doh-MEEEEN-oh's ? :-)

Nah that would have to be in a Michigan accent (tho Gawd knows what one of those sounds like) :-)


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