Posts tagged with "cephalopod" - Faerye Net 2006-10-22T22:44:30+00:00 Felicity Shoulders SHOCKtopus! 2006-10-22T22:44:30+00:00 2008-06-08T12:41:57+00:00 <p>From the pages of <a href="" target="links">wikipedia</a>: </p><blockquote><p><b>Terminology</b> <br /> Fowler&#8217;s Modern English Usage states that &#8220;the only acceptable plural in English is octopuses&#8221;, and that octopi is misconceived and octopodes pedantic. Octopi derives from the mistaken notion that <em>octōpūs</em> is a second declension Latin noun, which it is not. Rather, it is (Latinized) Greek, from <em>oktṓpous</em> (ὀκτώπους), gender masculine, whose plural is <em>oktṓpodes </em> (ὀκτώποδες). If the word were native to Latin, it would be <em>octōpēs</em> (&#8216;eight-foot&#8217;) and the plural <em>octōpedes</em>, analogous to <em>centipedes</em> and <em>mīllipedes</em>, as the plural form of <em>pēs</em> (&#8216;foot&#8217;) is pedes. In modern, informal Greek, it is called <em>khtapódi</em> (χταπόδι), gender neuter, with plural form <em>khtapódia</em> (χταπόδια). </p><p> Merriam-Webster and other dictionaries accept <em>octopi</em> as a plural form. The Oxford English Dictionary lists <em>octopuses</em>, <em>octopi</em>, and <em>octopodes</em> in order of descending frequency of use. The term <em>octopod</em> (either plural <em>octopods</em> and <em>octopodes</em> can be found) is taken from the taxonomic order <em>octopoda</em> but has no classical equivalent. The collective form <em>octopus</em> is usually reserved for animals consumed for food.</p></blockquote> <p>I am totally flabbergasted. I have been using &#8216;octopi&#8217; (though blessedly not on this website) for <em>years</em>! I guess I had better use &#8216;octopodes&#8217;, because it says &#8216;octopodes&#8217; is pedantic, and I can never pass up pedantry.</p>