Plural of "Octopus"

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What are the proper plurals of "octopus"?

Octopuses
50
25%
Octopi
41
20%
Octopodes
68
33%
Octopes
3
1%
Octopoxen
18
9%
Otters
23
11%
 
Total votes: 203

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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby Xanthir » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:18 am UTC

Again, you're not disagreeing with me in any way.
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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby Fieari » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:42 am UTC

Words ending in "us" pluralizing to "i" is descriptively productive in English, so I will support and defend it at every opportunity. Because "~uses" feels awkward and stuttery on my tongue, similar to the a/an rules. Repeating syllable sounds is not pleasant.

I don't have a problem with "octopodes" simply because it's fun to say and has a reason behind it, but I make no pretensions that it's better ENGLISH than Octopi. I lump "octopodes" in with pluralizing "box" as "boxen". But "octopi" feels like good English to me.
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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby Lazar » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:04 am UTC

Fieari wrote:Words ending in "us" pluralizing to "i" is descriptively productive in English, so I will support and defend it at every opportunity.

That reasoning – taken alone, at least – seems a little unfounded. Do you support and defend "circi", "feti", "sini", "genii" and "doofi"?
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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby chridd » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:52 am UTC

Lazar wrote:
Fieari wrote:Words ending in "us" pluralizing to "i" is descriptively productive in English, so I will support and defend it at every opportunity.

That reasoning – taken alone, at least – seems a little unfounded. Do you support and defend "circi", "feti", "sini", "genii" and "doofi"?
I don't know that that necessarily follows; -s and -ed are very productive English suffixes, but "gooses" and "goed" are still wrong. Like "goose", "circus" etc. already have established plurals, which could be preventing the formation of other plurals.

In any case, I'm not sure about the productivity of -i, but it is definitely an English plural suffix, despite being derived from Latin (it's used in English and English speakers who don't speak Latin recognize it as a plural suffix), and words don't necessarily have to pluralize like in their source languages (though they can).
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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:48 pm UTC

Late to the conversation on this (these) point(s), but for me:

Agenda: plurality of items (for which I use 'item' over any other term), making up a list. Multiple such lists are of course 'agendas'. c.f. 'person -> people -> peoples'.

Criteria: strictly plural; may use 'criterium' at a push, 'criterias' would be a push, but useful for similar circumstances as above, e.g. comparisons between multiple different specifications.

Data: use as singular more than I should, try to consciously say 'datum (point, etc)'. Would not throw 'datas' out of bed if it was appropriate for a group-of-groups, but only then.

Media: as a group, mostly, but complexly. For storage, "Install it from the media" does rather hark back with me to multi-floppy distributions, now used without prejudice for "whatever and however many storage media there are", but not "...there is". And 'an <item> of media (pl.)' is like 'a grain of sand' or 'a piece of lego'1, in their mass-noun pluralisations. - For news organisations, "the media are...", as a group, but perhaps more in the sense of "the government are..." or "the football team are...", which I know gives a trans-Atlantic split of opinion. Saying "the newspapers support option A, the television stations support option B, but perhaps the medias may come to an agreement" is as per discussing the group-of-groups (many football teams, several governments), but needs setting up for context.

'Octopodes' if I'm thinking enough to avoid 'Octopuses'. 'Octopedes' if I'm thinking far too much. 'Octopuxen' if I'm feeling mischievous and contrary.

1 Or "Lego" or "LEGO", but never /legos/i. (Sand grains, lego bricks. Pile of sand, sack of lego.)

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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby HES » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:26 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:1 Or "Lego" or "LEGO", but never /legos/i. (Sand grains, lego bricks. Pile of sand, sack of lego.)

:shock: Careful now. I've been down this road before... It's only the Brits that have this one right.
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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:34 pm UTC

HES wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:1 Or "Lego" or "LEGO", but never /legos/i. (Sand grains, lego bricks. Pile of sand, sack of lego.)

:shock: Careful now. I've been down this road before... It's only the Brits that have this one right.

Darned rootin' tootin' we do!

(And I have a lot of Lego.)

ETA: footnote of http://www.adrants.com/2005/09/lego-get ... d-name.php is fun, especially considering Math vs. Maths...

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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby Nyktos » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:43 pm UTC

HES wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:1 Or "Lego" or "LEGO", but never /legos/i. (Sand grains, lego bricks. Pile of sand, sack of lego.)

:shock: Careful now. I've been down this road before... It's only the Brits that have this one right.
I'm Canadian and was weirded out when I started encountering the assertion that "everyone" says it that way. I was real into Lego as a kid, and my friends and I definitely did not say "Legos". We usually talked about "Lego pieces", or simply "Lego".

(Though I don't think this is the universal Canadian usage, since I recall reading a novel by a Canadian author in which the characters talked about "Legos".)

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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby Fieari » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:40 pm UTC

You better believe I say "legos", have always said "legos", and feel absolutely no desire to protect the Lego Company's trademark rights by changing the way I refer to their product, which is to make legos.
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Re: Plural of "Octopus"

Postby Weeks » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:06 am UTC

I've never known anyone to say "octopodes" unironically unless they want to sound like a dork.
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