Is Octopi the Correct Plural of Octopus?

Nancy

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Fowler's is a very reputable source for grammar and usage information! On Ceph Care we've been using "octopuses" as the plural and in my reading I almost never come across "octopi".

:octopus: :octopus: :octopus: :octopus: = octopuses

Nancy
 


Jean

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Oh dear I go 1:octopus: 2:octopus: many octopus
then i don't have to remember greek, latin, latinized greek...'tis all double dutch to me!!!!! :lol:

J
 

erich orser

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English, particularly modern American English, is a mix-and-match mongrel tongue that is constantly changing with new foreign influences, however distressing that may seem. In one hundred years it will be officially a bit different than it is now, so incorrectly mixing latin and greek together seems altogether in keeping with the ongoing bastardization process. That said, and much as I enjoy the sound of "octopi" from an aesthetic standpoint, I've generally ceased using this word to avoid the corrective lectures of :grad: and other language-purity sticklers.
 

Nancy

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Unlike French, which has an Academy that makes prononucements on words (approves new words each year, for instance), English is a language determined by usage.

I've avoided the words "correct" and "incorrect" - we can say that "octopuses" :octopus: :octopus: :octopus: is preferred because it's more widely used than any other versions of the plural.

English has a long history of changes - but so do other languages. That's how we got French and Spanish from Latin!

Nancy
 


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Considering that The Brits consider the correct pronunciation of Don Quixote to be "Don Quickset" I don't think we need consider any British source the be-all and end-all of discussions about grammar, pronunciation, or whatever. Sorry Brits, I like you , just not crazy about that particular mindset. Have you ever heard them mangle Italian cites????
 
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sorseress said:
Considering that The Brits consider the correct pronunciation of Don Quixote to be "Don Quickset" I don't think we need consider any British source the be-all and end-all of discussions about grammar, pronunciation, or whatever. Sorry Brits, I like you , just not crazy about that particular mindset. Have you ever heard them mangle Italian cites????


Awwwww booooooo! I've never heard anyone in Britain say any other pronunciation than Key-oh-tay, which is probably wrong but better than Quickset! You probably think we all walk around in bowler hats and drink tea all the time. :hmm:

Alright... we do drink a lot of tea.

Anyway you should hear US citizens saying 'Salisbury' which is where I live. Touche! (drat, where's the accent on this thing? Oh it's ruined my witty riposte.)

Hey, I'm Welsh, you should hear any english speaker trying to say Bwlch, or Blaenau Ffestiniog. (Sudden realisation that Welsh people make great Cthulhu cultists because we can pronounce the words)

Ahem, Anyhoo, English is a funny ol' mix of Saxon, Norman, Norse and just about anything else we can get our hands on, so I've no problem with mangling the language and it changing. For example the word Awful originally meant something completely different. Even the word 'Thing' is a Norse word for a type of meeting. As for 'Quaint ' (which English people think Americans say a lot, I've never heard any Americans use it), check out Chaucer's The Millers Tale for it's original use :oops:

BUT, it is nice to be able to smugly say "heh heh, it's a common mistake, but I think you'll find the plural of octopus is ACTUALLY octopuses"
 

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