'He tracked and updated 182 patient statuses' OR 'He tracked and updated 182 patient stati?'

I believe "statuses" is correct. However, the originator is claiming some sort of Latin derivation as to why this is not acceptable.

  • Or the character could be an arrogant pedant who just thinks he knows the plural of status.
    – NomadMaker
    Jun 11 '20 at 5:06
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    Who is "the originator"? Jun 11 '20 at 5:35
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    Something else to consider: should "patient" be plural-possessive? (i.e. "He tracked and updated 182 patients' status[es]") Jun 11 '20 at 7:27
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    How can we answer this when you haven't told us whether your character is a layman or a Latinophile? Jun 11 '20 at 15:25

In the scenario you've given, only a pedantic character would use Latin. Ordinary people such as medical staff and doctors would say "statuses" or refer to the patients' "medical state" and "health condition." For details, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_state.

Speakers who use British Engish also use "status" as a plural noun. For example: "The survey considered participants' viewpoints, social status, and demographics." For details, see https://onlinewritingtraining.com.au/plural-of-status/.

In Latin, "statii" and "stati" are not plurals of "status." The Latin nominative and accusative plurals of "status" as a 4th declension noun are both "statūs" (pronounced 'sta-toos). This could be useful in dialog. For example:

HUFFMEISTER: By the way, saying "statuses" is wrong. The correct word is "statii."

CURLY SUE: Actually, my mother was a Latin professor. You're wrong, and you're pedantic twit.


The Latin plural of status is statūs.

See "Second etymology" here.

A real Latin teacher would not stick Latin words into English, and so would say "statuses." If you want your character to be an obnoxious pedant but not an ignorant pedant, he or she should say statūs (typically pronounced the same as singular "status" in English).

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    The plural of "status" is "status" in British English too, just like "sheep", "deer" or "species", while American English uses "Statuses". Jun 11 '20 at 7:26

In this case, the use of "status" can be misleading. Patients an programs are better described as having a state.

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    Oh...even better. "He tracked and updated 182 patient states." Thank you! Jun 10 '20 at 20:10

"He tracked and updated the status of 182 patients" is also perfectly acceptable and uncontroversial.

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    "state" would sound more idiomatic here, at least to my ear.
    – Polygnome
    Jun 11 '20 at 10:35

Is your character a medical professional? He probably wouldn't say any of those things, he'd probably say, "He updated charts for 182 patients." or maybe, "He did rounds and updated charts for 182 patients." (I'm not a medical professional, but I've watched a lot of medical dramas. Also, again not as a medical professional, 182 sounds like...a lot. Even if you only see each patient for 5 minutes a day, that's over 15 hours!)

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