Another Seminar of English terminology, this time involving the humble octopus.
What is the plural of octopus?
Im proving I know nothing about English here, but how about it stays the same?
ie "I saw 10 octopus"
EDIT- Just checked and I was right...I know nothing about English
If I only just posted the above post, please wait 5 mins before replying as there is bound to be edits
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No, because it's not a sheep.
Instinctively gone for octopuses as I would for the cactuses too. Prob wrong, but meh.
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I'd go octopuses and cacti.
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Octopus is a Greek word, so the correct plural would be octopodes. If it was Latin, then it would be octopi.
There are three forms of the plural of octopus; namely, octopuses, octopi, and octopodes. Currently, octopuses is the most common form in the UK as well as the US; octopodes is rare, and octopi is often objected to.
The Oxford English Dictionary (2004 update) lists octopuses, octopi and octopodes (in that order); it labels octopodes "rare", and notes that octopi derives from the mistaken assumption that octōpūs is a second declension Latin noun, which it is not. Rather, it is (Latinized) Greek, from oktṓpous (ὀκτώπους), gender masculine, whose plural is oktṓpodes (ὀκτώποδες). If the word were native to Latin, it would be octōpēs ('eight-foot') and the plural octōpedes, analogous to centipedes and mīllipedes, as the plural form of pēs ('foot') is pedes. In modern, informal Greek, it is called khtapódi (χταπόδι), gender neuter, with plural form khtapódia (χταπόδια).
Chambers 21st Century Dictionary and the Compact Oxford Dictionary list only octopuses, although the latter notes that octopodes is "still occasionally used"; the British National Corpus has 29 instances of octopuses, 11 of octopi and 4 of octopodes. Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary lists octopuses and octopi, in that order; Webster's New World College Dictionary lists octopuses, octopi and octopodes (in that order).
Fowler's Modern English Usage states that "the only acceptable plural in English is octopuses," and that octopi is misconceived and octopodes pedantic.
The term octopod (plural octopods or octopodes) is taken from the taxonomic order Octopoda but has no classical equivalent. The collective form octopus is usually reserved for animals consumed for food.
Last edited by Pratters; 26-11-2007 at 02:59 PM.
Ocotopuses is lazy english, Octopi is just wrong, Octopodes is the correct one despite anyone who uses it being pedantic.
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