Talk:Alma mater

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Redirect[edit]

Current version of the article is little more than a dictionary definition. I have redirected to List of Latin phrases#A. If/when someone has enough more to say to turn this into a full stand-alone article, please revert this redirect to the prior version. Rossami 21:46, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

latin usage[edit]

I was taught that latin often did not use capital letters- should we refer to it as 'alma mater', or am I missing something? :)

The 2 dictionaries I checked (the Oxford American Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary) both list both the capitalized and lowercase spellings as correct. According the normal rules for English spelling, it is not a proper noun nor perceived by a normal native speaker as being derived from one, so the preferred spelling would be lowercase.
The conventions of the Latin language are irrelevant. When a word is borrowed into another language, it adopts the conventions that the borrowing language assigns to it, which may be the same as or closer to either the original or the borrowing language. This often corresponds to, but is not necessarily a function of, the degree to which the borrowed word has been nativized. In English, this is usually rule governed, but can vary on a case-by-case basis.Bostoner (talk) 01:57, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
More to the point, the assertion is completely wrong. Latin was written only in capital letters. Later, cursive script was invented, and this evolved into the upper/lower case conventions we have today. — Chameleon 05:14, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Actually "Alma" in latin means "Soul". Alma Mater means "The mother of the soul". --168.205.156.183 (talk) 19:00, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

No, "alma" is the Spanish word for "soul". Latin is the language of Ancient Rome. Latin and Spanish are two entirely different languages. The way to say "soul" in Latin is "anima". — Preceding unsigned comment added by GiannaZarelli (talkcontribs) 15:29, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

The current definition is misleading[edit]

It is clear when read in context that the cited definition from the Random House Dictionary is strongly implying that the predominant meaning of the phrase is the university from which one graduated. It is much, much rarer to see alma mater used to refer to a university which one merely attended. Any objections before I clean up this garbage? --Coolcaesar (talk) 22:42, 28 December 2017 (UTC)

Hearing no objections, it's fixed. --Coolcaesar (talk) 05:38, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
A few months later, but judging from the IP's previous and subsequent revisions, right thing to do. I've reverted further than you did to remove their other deterius. Nate (chatter) 13:06, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

The Merriam-Webster definition says "a school, college, or university which one has attended or from which one has graduated".[1] There are two meanings (attended or graduated), in the US. Both meanings should be included. -- GreenC 17:50, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Current usage[edit]

"Before its current usage", states the article. Should this not indicate that it's (presumably) specific to the US, at least in English usage? See the previous discussion page for commentary from various other likely more worldly-wise than me, but speaking as an Englishwoman I found the term rather perplexing when I first encountered it on Wikipedia and years later I've still yet to encounter it elsewhere. I dare say it may be used within particular social circles (such as the infamously closeted "Oxbridge PPE crowd", to hazard a guess) but it doesn't seem to be used in general; or at least not here. --Vometia (talk) 16:05, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

There seems to be a wide gulf between British and US usage of this term. It's extremely common in the US where it usually means one has graduated from (ie. not a drop-out). Though some may disagree (often drop outs themselves!). In the UK it seems like the term is not used much at all, and when so, its meaning can infer simply any attendance (graduate or not) but I am guessing here. -- GreenC 16:26, 8 September 2019 (UTC)