Charles Tom Rauch
RF and Analog System Designer (1983–present)Author has 545 answers and 1.9M answer views
“Aerials” was the old common name for antennas because all common early antennas were large and well elevated. They were “in the air”.As aerials changed over the years, the commonly accepted name changed to “antenna” or “antennas”(plural), which was more descriptive of changing designs. Although the names are still somewhat interchangeable, around WWII “antennas” or “antenna” started rapidly gaining popularity and is now the almost exclusive use.The Latin plural “antennae” has traditionally been reserved for biological “feelers” or insect sensors. Some newer people unfamiliar with accepted engineering jargon or common usage use the incorrect Latin plural “antennae” when speaking of electromagnetics or radio. Use of “Antennae” in radio is almost exclusively by inexperienced people, since it is widely unaccepted in the field.