Is Octopi the Correct Plural of Octopus?

WhiteKiboko

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i refuse, even under the constraints of my native (not to mention other) language(s) [including Tony's blasphemous :smile: comment http://www.tonmo.com/sitefaq.php] to give in to the octopuses movement..... i say pluralize more things in -i... not just those ending in vowel + s.....

for example: the supreme bird in africa? those wily ostri.....

thus spake the kiboko :wink:


:cthulhu: :heart: :beer:
 

erich orser

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I'm going to have to upset the sticklers with my take on this one. Although that hideous text-messaging speak will hopefully not overpower us, I must point out that modern English (especially American English) is and has been a constantly evolving language. For hundreds of years it has been pulling in words, turns of speech, grammatical variations from innumerable foreign tongues, mixing and matching freely, constantly breaking it's own rules from generation to generation, and then incorporating these dreaded alien influences into official speech. You can kvetch all you want, but it is an ongoing process with as much chance of being halted as plate tectonics.

Anyway, according to Jacques-Yves Cousteau in Octopus and Squid: The Soft Intellingence, you are permitted to properly utilize octopus, octopi, octopuses, and octopussies, which I suppose brings us back to the Jamaican slang-term for the animal, "sea cat". Either that or Maude Adams in the thirteenth 007 film (great cheekbones).

Erich
 
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Octopodes is the correct plural. Octopi is incorrect...

Here's an accurate article:

Plural
A note on the plural form: Fowler's Modern English Usage states that "the only acceptable plural in English is octopuses", and that octopi is misconceived and octopodes pedantic. Octopi derives from the mistaken notion that octopus is Latin. It is not. It is (Latinized) Greek, from oktopous (ὀκτώπους), gender masculine, whose plural is oktopodes (ὀκτώποδες). If the word were Latin, it would be octopes ('eight-foot') and the plural octopedes, analogous to centipedes and millipedes, as the plural form of pes ('foot') is pedes. In modern, informal Greek, it is called khtapodi (χταπόδι), gender neuter, with plural form khtapodia (χταπόδια).

That said, Merriam-Webster and other dictionaries accept octopi as a plural form. The Oxford English Dictionary lists octopuses, octopi, and octopodes (the order reflecting decreasing frequency of use), stating that the last form is rare. The term octopod (either plural octopods and octopodes can be found) is taken from the taxonomic order octopoda but has no classical equivalent. The collective form octopus is usually reserved for animals consumed for food. Finally worth mentioning is Octopussy, a blend word of octopus and pussycat, which found its way back from the movie title to a term of endearment for the animal that had originally inspired it.
 

chet

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Is Octopi the Correct Plural of Octopus?

Most dictionaries list octopi and octopuses as the correct plural of octopus, but some English Usage Dictionaries say that octopi is incorrect. Fowler's Modern English Usage says the following:

A note on the plural form: Fowler's Modern English Usage states that "the only acceptable plural in English is octopuses", and that octopi is misconceived and octopodes pedantic. Octopi derives from the mistaken notion that octopus is Latin. It is not. It is (Latinized) Greek, from oktopous (????????), gender masculine, whose plural is oktopodes (?????????). If the word were Latin, it would be octopes ('eight-foot') and the plural octopedes, analogous to centipedes and millipedes, as the plural form of pes ('foot') is pedes. In modern, informal Greek, it is called khtapodi (???????), gender neuter, with plural form khtapodia (????????).


What do you say?
 

um...

Architeuthis
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I say that Fowler's is :thumbsup:. I hurt people who say 'octopi'. But I am, of course, a dork, so nobody needs to pay much attention to me.
 

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