The singular of criteria…

…is “criterion” in English, not “criterium”.

A short and simple post today: English uses the Greek-derived criterion rather than the Latin-derived criterium.

  • the etymology is dual: Latin borrowed it from the Greek
  • (as an aside: the road cycling race is indeed a criterium, but both languages borrowed that from a French usage)

The confusion is because the Dutch term is a borrowed word from Latin, and such things are generally then the same in English.

Prevalence: medium. A term that turns up largely in scientific writing, though not unheard-of elsewhere.
Frequency: very high. Misled by thinking it’s a Latin leenwoord.
Native: not usually. But I’ve certainly seen it.

Published by Mike Wilkinson

Twenty years of translating and editing Dutch into English, as well as writing and publishing in English.

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