Word choice: indexes or indices?
I'm currently writing a "Skills Inventory" essay in order to get a job promotion. I'm supposed to demonstrate writing ability that's "clear, concise, well organized and understandable." Since, the people who'll be reading this report and rating my abilities are, in my humble opinion, not very bright, I'm wondering which plural form I should use for "index." Dictionary.com states that both "indexes" and "indices" are correct, but I'm wondering if these fools know that both are acceptable.
Maybe, I'm over-thinking this, but I'd like to know your opinions. Which would you choose?
Maybe overthinking, yes. I'd go for "indices", though.
Both are perfectly acceptable. I would only suggest that you be consistent: pick one and stick with it.
Ha, ha, ha...
..."concise, well organized and understandable."
If by that you mean the writings are all laid out in an orderly fashion on the perimeter of a hole or depression in the ground containing water, then you'll be just fine. On the other hand, I'm thinking that may not be the case.
If you wish to dazzle them with your depth of knowledge and skill, the correct form would be "clear, concise, well-organized, and understandable."
As to your question, both 'indexes' and 'indices' are acceptable and recognized plural forms of 'index.' Typically, indexes is used when referring to written (word) documents, and indices is used when referring to mathematical or scientific matters. The word itself can obviously be used as a verb in a present participle manner, to wit: The librarian indexes all the books using an archaic and inefficient system. That said, it is an ugly use of the word.
Hope you got the promotion.
<< Typically, indexes is used when referring to written (word) documents, and indices is used when referring to mathematical or scientific matters. >>
In general, I would prefer this rule. "Indices", while perfectly acceptable, still sounds a bit pedantic outside mathematical contexts. In your particular situation, I don't think it matters. If it's true that they're not very bright, they're much more likely to use the word "indexes" themselves anyway, though they're unlikely to think "indices" is incorrect.
I myself would probably write "indices" and say "indexes" unless I was feeling pedantic, where then I would also say "indices".
This is one of those situations where the "proper" term would be 'indices' although most of us would probably say 'indexes' when speaking... Similar to using the plural verb conjugation for 'data' as in 'the data reveal that...' as opposed to 'the data reveals...' I would put the first in a seminar paper and I'd probably say the second.
but I'm wondering if these fools know that both are acceptable.
Maybe you should change jobs. Surely they know you scorn them.
use "many an index". At least it is grammatically correct
In context, no, it might not be.
Here in the UK you can use either plural form, although it seems that most people use "indexes" here, certainly in libraries. The same goes for the plural of appendix, just another similar word.
As for another similar word - complex - as in an obsession with something, or a psychological condition, I don't think there is a plural form, even though you would think there could be. If so, I would guess complexes fits the bill...."she is one morass of complexes", for instance. Complices just doesn't exist as a word in that sense, only as an obsolete form of accomplice.
From where does this wildy irregular plural form come from? Index->Indices. Indexes is far more logical.
<< From where does this wildy irregular plural form come from? >>
By the way, you need to remove one of the "froms" in your sentence. I'd prefer to remove the first, since removing the second sounds extremely formal.
Thank you, When I first started writing the sentence I noticed that "from" should be at the end , but I forgot to remove the first from.