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0928: "Mimic Octopus"

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:24 am UTC
by Esperite
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!

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:26 am UTC
by skeptical scientist
I'm just here to stick up for octopodes. Even though my web browser seems to think it's not a word.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:26 am UTC
by Almost in register
Hooray for octopuses, the correct plural! (I don't care if dictionaries are caving, octopi is just wrong.)

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:28 am UTC
by SyntaxBlitz
Octopodes is, and always will be, correct.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:30 am UTC
by alexriehl
Yes, octopuses. Remind me to go read that book again. :D

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:31 am UTC
by TaylorP
Wikipedia uses Octopuses. It must be right!

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:33 am UTC
by bloodyxnights
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.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:36 am UTC
by jpk
If there are two of them, would it be a hexapus?

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:37 am UTC
by Lazar
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.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:41 am UTC
by mschmidt62
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....

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:43 am UTC
by Sir_Read-a-Lot
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!)

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:43 am UTC
by creaothceann
The correct spelling will never prevail because children are better at remembering octopussi.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:44 am UTC
by HFXRCUR
jpk wrote:If there are two of them, would it be a hexapus?


No, because 8 + 8 =/= 6

It would be a hexidecapus

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:44 am UTC
by mievaan
I just had to register to post this:

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

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:00 am UTC
by graudrakon
Greek origin, octopodes.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:02 am UTC
by tellumo
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.)

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:08 am UTC
by gmrple
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".

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:09 am UTC
by Eternal Density
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.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:12 am UTC
by Someguy945
I guess it's a reference to this?

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

I don't really get it.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:15 am UTC
by hilh
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!

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:16 am UTC
by buz
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.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:29 am UTC
by Whitekiboko
Actually, the multi-mimic drawing more looks like a GPO...

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:46 am UTC
by mackereth
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.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:46 am UTC
by Iranon
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).

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:51 am UTC
by phlip
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.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:54 am UTC
by Alsadius
Does that even qualify as a joke?

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:04 am UTC
by Adelie
Alsadius wrote:Does that even qualify as a joke?


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

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:30 am UTC
by ysth
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

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:31 am UTC
by aurumelectrum13
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.

You're...you're free. Go. Be free.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:09 am UTC
by kateract
Octopi is the representation of pi in Octal. 3.151375237116....

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:31 am UTC
by Paulmichael
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:

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:37 am UTC
by phlip
kateract wrote:Octopi is the representation of pi in Octal. 3.151375237116....

That's... not pi in octal.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:48 am UTC
by The Moomin
Stephen Fry said it was octopuses on an episode of QI, you can't argue with that.

Octopi sounds like a seafood dish.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:58 am UTC
by unpredictable
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

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:05 am UTC
by TheTomahawk
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)

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:06 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
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....)

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:08 am UTC
by Farabor
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.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:19 am UTC
by Red Hal
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.


Tau as a wig? Never, I say! Never!

(Edited for double-post)

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:23 am UTC
by phlip
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.

Re: 0928: Mimic Octopus

Posted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:24 am UTC
by unpredictable
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