Re: octopod*

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Tue, 25 Nov 1997 11:21:09 -0800 (PST)

> Wesley Schwein:
> : Pedant-time: [defense of "octopodes"]
> :
> : Anyway, contemporary usage of Graeco-Latin words doesn't have much to do
> : with the real languages. It always annoys me, fer ex, when someone says
> : "boni" instead of "bonuses"; it's unnecessary.
> Maybe the plural ought to be _bonus_ (long u).
> It bugs me to attach an *explicit* plural ending (-es)
> to an *explicit* singular ending (-us).

Never heard that one (boni) but I can't imagine that being used as
anything but facetious. People do, however, use "virii" as if it
were legitimate, where it fails on two counts: one, like "octopus",
"virus" is a Greek rather than Latin root, and even if it were
Latin, it would only be "viri" (which is actually Latin for "men").
And what's wrong with good old English plurals like viruses or
antennas anyway? Are antennas less effective than antennae? It
would be one thing if people who used Latin plurals used words like
criteria, genera, axes, and alumni correctly, but my experience is
that they don't.

ObOctopus: The preferred form is "octopuses". "Octopodes" is a
bit stuffy, but also fine. "Octopi" is probably too ingrained in
out culture to eradicate, but it really should be eliminated.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC