0928: "Mimic Octopus"

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Esperite
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0928: "Mimic Octopus"

Postby Esperite » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:24 am UTC

Image
Alt text: Even if the dictionaries are starting to give in, I refuse to accept 'octopi' as a word mainly because--I'm not making this up--there's a really satisfying climactic scene in the Orson Scott Card horror novel 'Lost Boys' which hinges on it being an incorrect pluralization.

I'm pretty sure octupuses is correct (because of the origin), even though I think octopi sounds more correct.
Edit: clarifying what I mean. Octopus comes from Greek, making its plural form octopuses or octopodes from those grammar rules. Latin words with the same structure would be pluralized like "octopi."
(I knew this before wikipedia, but got the specifics from the edit from there. woo, go wikipedia!
Last edited by Felstaff on Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:05 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: You missed out the "quotation" "marks" you bitch's bastard's whoreson!
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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby skeptical scientist » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:26 am UTC

I'm just here to stick up for octopodes. Even though my web browser seems to think it's not a word.
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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Almost in register » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:26 am UTC

Hooray for octopuses, the correct plural! (I don't care if dictionaries are caving, octopi is just wrong.)

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby SyntaxBlitz » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:28 am UTC

Octopodes is, and always will be, correct.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby alexriehl » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:30 am UTC

Yes, octopuses. Remind me to go read that book again. :D
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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby TaylorP » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:31 am UTC

Wikipedia uses Octopuses. It must be right!

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby bloodyxnights » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:33 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:I'm just here to stick up for octopodes. Even though my web browser seems to think it's not a word.

This exactly.
And http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFyY2mK8pxk is why it's octopodes, and why octopi is the least correct of the three.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby jpk » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:36 am UTC

If there are two of them, would it be a hexapus?

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Lazar » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:37 am UTC

Octopuses is standard, octopodes is okay if you're trying to be all hellenizing and stuff, but octopi is wrong because it's based on a total confusion of declensional endings.
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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby mschmidt62 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:41 am UTC

There must be something I'm not getting here....

A mimic octopus is a very good mimic of other sea life.

Two mimic octopuses look like one mimic octopus...so one mimic octopus is mimicking the other octopus? But where's the other octopus? Is it mimicking the void?

I'm sure I'll kick myself with the stupidity of what I'm missing as soon as someone explains it....

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Sir_Read-a-Lot » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:43 am UTC

There one time when octopi is correct - when it's baked into a crust.

Also, platypuses have the same problems with pluralization.

(platypus pluralization problems!)

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby creaothceann » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:43 am UTC

The correct spelling will never prevail because children are better at remembering octopussi.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby HFXRCUR » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:44 am UTC

jpk wrote:If there are two of them, would it be a hexapus?


No, because 8 + 8 =/= 6

It would be a hexidecapus

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby mievaan » Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:44 am UTC

I just had to register to post this:

Merriam-Webster Ask the Editor - Octopus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFyY2mK8pxk

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby graudrakon » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:00 am UTC

Greek origin, octopodes.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby tellumo » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:02 am UTC

I came to talk about how the correct plural should be "octopodes".

What was I thinking--this is xkcd. Of course I got beaten on the first post. Shutting up now.

(ps: obligatory THIS IS XKCD!!!!! post foreclosed now.)

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby gmrple » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:08 am UTC

If there are two of them, would it be a hexapus?


No, because the prefix hex means six. You probably think it means sixteen because people often shorten the word "hexadecimal" to "hex".

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:09 am UTC

I don't know what a mimic octopus is (though I know what a mimic is from a bit of playing Roguelikes) though it's kind of obvious what it is from the comic.
I prefer 'octopuses' as the pluralisation. Ocotopodes sounds silly. Platypodes on the other hand... also sounds silly but amusingly silly.
I've never read any Card.


Oooh, hexadecipus!

A hexapus is three-quarters of an octopus.
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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Someguy945 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:12 am UTC

I guess it's a reference to this?

http://2.media.tumblr.com/6Qcmc8cVZosbjyyfDlDSYVLko1_500.jpg

I don't really get it.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby hilh » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:15 am UTC

A mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) is an amaaaaazing creature that tends to mimic other sealife, including flounders and sea snakes. It does a pretty good job at it too!

I'm all for octopuses because it's correct. And I am so redirecting anyone who think it's octopi to this comic from now on!

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby buz » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:16 am UTC

When I saw the "two mimic octopuses", I instantly knew that the alt-text was going to be about the pluralization. It just had to.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Whitekiboko » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:29 am UTC

Actually, the multi-mimic drawing more looks like a GPO...

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby mackereth » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:46 am UTC

I remember "Lost Boys" (not to be confused with the teen vampire-hunter movie), but I can't remember the octopus ending...

(It's well worth a read; quite harrowing as it's written as if it really happened to the author, not just an authorial voice. It didn't. Like many or even most Card stories, if you don't cry at some point when reading it, you just might need a mirror neuron transplant...)

Edit: just checked my ebook of "Lost Boys" and re-read the "octopus" bit. Not the ending, just one of the turning points.
Last edited by mackereth on Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:56 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Iranon » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:46 am UTC

Octopodes forever.

Octopuses sounds awkward to me, but allowing to follow the conventions of the language you're actually speaking makes sense. If nothing else, it fixes problems when there is no natural and correct option (e.g.: virus).
It just sounds as if it wants to be octopussies (which sounds like the central plot point in a really bad porn movie).

And since it's been brought up: A hexadecipus would imply something like 10 arms and 6 tentacles (Contrary to widespread belief, octopodes have no tentacles).
Hexadecimal is an artificial mishmash of latin and greek that's actually appropriate for a change (since we use 6 of one and 10 of something else).
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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby phlip » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:51 am UTC

Someguy945 wrote:I guess it's a reference to this?

http://2.media.tumblr.com/6Qcmc8cVZosbjyyfDlDSYVLko1_500.jpg

I don't really get it.

Less a reference to that, more the same joke as that... both that and the xkcd strip are making references to this sort of identification chart.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Alsadius » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:54 am UTC

Does that even qualify as a joke?

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Adelie » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:04 am UTC

Alsadius wrote:Does that even qualify as a joke?


The joke is calling the climax of 'Lost Boys' a "really satisfying climactic scene".

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby ysth » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:30 am UTC

There's more than one way to do it.

$ perl -wle'use Lingua::EN::Inflect ":PLURALS"; print for PL("octopus"),classical(),PL("octopus")'
octopuses
octopodes
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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby aurumelectrum13 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:31 am UTC

Just wanted to say that we aren't using Greek or Latin, we're using English. The rules don't have to carry over from the original language.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby kateract » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:09 am UTC

Octopi is the representation of pi in Octal. 3.151375237116....

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Paulmichael » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:31 am UTC

And thus begins a rampant uptick in the number of Google/Wikipedia searches for the Mimic Octopus, the correct plural form of the word octopus, and the horror novel Lost Boys. :mrgreen:

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby phlip » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:37 am UTC

kateract wrote:Octopi is the representation of pi in Octal. 3.151375237116....

That's... not pi in octal.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby The Moomin » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:48 am UTC

Stephen Fry said it was octopuses on an episode of QI, you can't argue with that.

Octopi sounds like a seafood dish.
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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby unpredictable » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:58 am UTC

kateract wrote:Octopi is the representation of pi in Octal. 3.151375237116....


Apparently 3.1513752371.. is not pi in any base.
3.161507028.. in base 11
3.141592653.. in base 10
3.124188124.. in base 9

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby TheTomahawk » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:05 am UTC

From the Oxford English Dictionary

noun (pl. octopuses)

Derivatives:
octopoid (adjective)

Origin:
mid 18th cent: from Greek

USAGE
The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for Latin plurals, is incorrect.


So, octopuses, not octopodes, in English. (spell checker in my browser fails to recognise either octopodes or octopi as being valid spellings)

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:06 am UTC

kateract wrote:Octopi is the representation of pi in Octal. 3.151375237116....

No, octopi is the ratio of the radius of an octagon to its circumference. (Yeah, math people, figure out how that one works....)
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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Farabor » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:08 am UTC

As a new convert, I must interject into this discussion with this radical extremist rant.

Down with pi! Long live Tau!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled forum discussion.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby Red Hal » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:19 am UTC

Plural when referring to seafood: octopus
"Correct" plural: octopodes
Anglicised and most commonly used plural: octopuses.

But then I'm the kind of person who loves signs like the one on the M6 saying "sports stadia".

Farabor wrote:As a new convert, I must interject into this discussion with this radical extremist rant.

Down with pi! Long live Tau!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled forum discussion.


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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby phlip » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:23 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:No, octopi is the ratio of the radius of an octagon to its circumference. (Yeah, math people, figure out how that one works....)

That one is 3.06146745892 (using the circumradius, as that's the more common choice for the radius of a regular polygon... for the inradius, it's 3.31370849898).

Fun fact: the inradius-pi will be larger than pi, and the circumradius-pi will be smaller than pi, for any regular polygon... though they will both approach pi as the number of sides increases.
Last edited by phlip on Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:27 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Postby unpredictable » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:24 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
kateract wrote:Octopi is the representation of pi in Octal. 3.151375237116....

No, octopi is the ratio of the radius of an octagon to its circumference. (Yeah, math people, figure out how that one works....)


If we're talking about the long diagonal (which is the diameter of the ex-circle), the ratio of circumference to diameter is,
8 / square root(4 + (2 * square root(2))) = 3.06146746

Reference: http://rechneronline.de/pi/octagon.php


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