Nothing makes you feel less like a graduate than failing your first real-world spelling test. Do you know the difference between “alumnus,” “alumna,” “alumnae” & “alumni”?
When people start talking Latin origins and uncommon spelling forms, tension begins to build in some secret place where childhood spelling bee angst hides. When we start adding word gender form into the conversation, there’s a tendency for hands to be tossed into the air. But sometimes, there are moments for tossing up graduation caps rather than hands. And in these cases, you need to make sure you’re prepared.
Some might cheat and use the shortened forms “alum” or “alums,” but you, savvy graduate, can do better.
- A “alumnus” is a male graduate.
- An “alumna” is a female graduate.
- “Alumnae” are multiple female graduates.
- “Alumni” are multiple male graduates or graduates of both sexes.
If you’re a graduate, own it. Strut across that stage. Hold your head up high. You’ve earned it. You’ve rocked it. Just make sure you spell your new title right. Got it?
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