The Grammarphobia Blog

1 prof. emeritus + 1 prof. emeritus = 2 ?

Q: I’m a college administrator and I was wondering how to use “emeritus” when referring to more than one professor of that ilk. Would it be “professors emeriti”?

A: The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.) recommends “professor emeritus” (sing. masc.); “professor emerita” (sing. fem.); “professors emeriti” (pl. masc. or both masc. and fem.), and “professors emeritae” (pl. fem.).

The Chicago Manual also notes that “emeritus,” “emerita,” and so on are honorary designations and do not simply mean retired.

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