Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: kudos.

kudos. “Kudos” (best pronounced /KYOO-dahs/ or /KYOO-dohs/, with no “-z” sound at the end) derives from the Greek word “kydos” (“glory”). A singular noun meaning “praise, glory,” it is sometimes erroneously thought to be a plural — e.g.: “Last week, he was nominated for best breakthrough performance by the Independent Spirit Awards, and more kudos [read ‘honors’] seem in the offing.” Lou Lumenick, “The ‘Fisher’ King,” N.Y. Post, 16 Dec. 2002, at 37. As a result of that mistake, “kudoes” (a mistaken plural) and “kudo” (a false singular) have come to plague many texts — e.g.: o “This is a great-looking show, too: Kudoes [read ‘Kudos’] to the costumer (Ambra Wakefield) and choreographer (Lee Martino).” Eric Marchese, “Curtain Call,” Orange County Register, 20 July 1996, at F3. o “[Army] Archerd is the first [journalist] to receive the humanitarian kudo [read ‘kudos’], which will be presented Jan. 28 at the BevWilshire.” “Archerd to Receive Scopus,” Daily Variety, 16 Sept. 2002, at 2. The mistaken plural use, as well as the back-formed singular “kudo,” came into vogue in World War II. See Atcheson L. Hench, “Singular ‘Kudos’ and Plural ‘Kudos,'” 38 Am. Speech 303-04 (1963). But the print evidence of the plural use dates back to the 1920s. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “We need our shamans, if they will stay within the realm of the possible and the practical, and will accept help in mapping that realm.” Dwight Bolinger, Language: The Loaded Weapon 180 (1980). ====================
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