Blame it on the English language.
Not only is it filled with complex grammar, vocabulary and spelling rules and exceptions, but it also has a habit of importing words from other languages.
Because of their Latin origins, traditional words for graduates like alumni, alumnae, alumnus and alumna are often misused by English speakers unfamiliar with the rules of this classical language. These nouns retain their Latin roots and change depending on gender and number.
If you are unsure whether to use alumna, alumnus, alumnae or alumni, or their more modern, informal counterparts - alum and alums - check out the infographic we created below to get a quick lesson in Latin - and how to use the right term for your graduate.
Written by Thomas Edison State University