Monday, July 10, 2006

OK, here is the hopefully definitive final word on what “el al.” stands for in various contexts. In the phrase:

Plaintiff (or appellant) et al. v. Defendant (or appellee) et al.

The first et al. is nominative and the second et al. is accusative.

Thus the breakdown is as follows:

Plaintiff et. ____:

alius – singular masculine (“and one other [male] person”)

alia – singular feminine

aliud – singular neuter (“and another thing”)

alii – pl. masc. (“and other people [of mixed or exclusively male gender]”)

aliae – pl. fem.

alia – pl. neut. (“and other things”)

Defendant et. ____:

alium – sing. masc.

aliam – sing. fem.

aliud – sing. neut.

alios – pl. masc.

alias – pl. fem.

alia – pl. neut.

The attentive reader will note that all twelve of these conveniently abbreviate to “et al.”

Bruce Selya is known to use the “et alios” quite a bit. There will of course be controversy about the use of the masculine plural for mixed gender groups