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To the Editor.—
In an article in a recent issue of the Archives, "scabie" is given as the singular form of scabies. Since this spelling occurs twice, this is not a typographical error but a solecism.Latin did not consistently form plurals by adding "s." This was true for nouns of the fourth and fifth declensions, but true only for masculine and feminine forms of the nouns of the third declension. Neuter nouns of the second and third declensions ended in "a," masculine nouns of the second declension ended in "i," and all nouns of the first declension ended in "ae." Reference to Lewis and Short's A Latin Dictionary (Oxford, England, Clarendon Press, 1966) confirms that the word is singular. On p 1637, one reads, "scabies . . . in particular, as a disease, the scab, mange, itch . . . an itching, longing, pruriency."Moreover, "anu" is not the singular form of anus, and Bacchus
Derbes VJ. A Solecism. Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(9):1215. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630210131026